EXPECTATIONS of an interest rate hike have declined among the public, research suggests.
The Bank of England’s inflation attitudes survey for May found 51 per cent of respondents anticipate a rate rise over the next 12 months, down from 58 per cent in the previous poll during February.
Asked what would be best for the economy, a fifth of respondents felt rates should go up and 16 per cent said they should go down, with the rest hoping they stay put.
Similarly, 22 per cent said an interest rate rise would be best for them personally, while 28 per cent said it would be better if they went down.
The poll of 2,159 people, conducted during May, also assessed awareness of inflation, with the median figure for the current rate put at 3.1 per cent, rather than the current 2.4 per cent.
Respondents expected inflation to hit 2.9 per cent over the coming year.
It comes as the Bank held off from raising interest rates last month but has admitted that hikes are still looking likely.
Minutes of the Bank’s latest monetary policy committee meeting said rates were held at 0.5 per cent as members wanted to “discern whether the softness in the first quarter might persist”.
UK GDP growth came in at 0.1 per cent in the first three months of 2018, the weakest pace of economic growth for five years. However, the Bank of England’s inflation report, which accompanied the interest rate announcement, said the labour market was strong and suggested activity would pick up.
The Bank also revised its own forecasts for the UK economy, to 1.4 per cent annual growth, from a 1.8 per cent forecast in February.