This news release describes the results of the Bank of England’s latest quarterly survey of public attitudes to inflation, undertaken between 1 and 5 November 2019.
Highlights from the Survey
Question 1: Asked to give the current rate of inflation, respondents gave a median answer of 2.9%, compared to 3.1% in August.
Question 2a: Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 3.1%, down from 3.3% in August.
Question 2b: Asked about expected inflation in the twelve months after that, respondents gave a median answer of 2.9%, down from 3.0% in August.
Question 2c: Asked about expectations of inflation in the longer term, say in five years’ time, respondents gave a median answer of 3.6%, up from 3.1% in August.
Question 3: By a margin of 52% to 7%, survey respondents believed that the economy would end up weaker rather than stronger if prices started to rise faster, compared with 57% to 7% in August.
Question 4: 52% of respondents thought the inflation target was ‘about right’, up from 50% in August, while the proportions saying the target was ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ were at 19% and 10% respectively.
Question 5: 11% of respondents thought that interest rates had fallen over the past 12 months, up from 9% in August, while 27% of respondents said that interest rates had risen over the past 12 months, down from 30% in August.
Question 6: When asked about the future path of interest rates, 26% said rates might stay about the same over the next twelve months, up from 22% in August. 39% of respondents expected rates to rise over the next 12 months, down from 43% in August.
Question 7: Asked what would be ‘best for the economy’ – higher interest rates, lower rates or no change – 16% thought rates should ‘go up’, up from 15% in August. 18% of respondents thought that interest rates should ‘go down’, down from 19% in August. 35% thought interest rates should ‘stay where they are’, down from 37% in August.
Question 8: When asked what would be ‘best for you personally’, 20% of respondents said interest rates should ‘go up’, the same as in August. 27% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go down’, down from 29% in August.
Question 14: Respondents were asked to assess the way the Bank of England is ‘doing its job to set interest rates to control inflation’. The net satisfaction balance – the proportion satisfied minus the proportion dissatisfied – was +30%, up from +27% in August.