A survey by the Bank of England on public attitudes to inflation found that respondents believed the rate of inflation over the coming year will be 3.3 per cent, the highest since August 2008 and up from 2.5 per cent reported in February.
The survey found that when asked what the current rate of inflation was, respondents gave a median answer of 3.6 per cent, up from 3.3 per cent in February.
A margin of 56 per cent to 11 per cent of respondents said they thought the economy would be weaker rather than stronger should inflation rise more sharply. In February the margin was 60 per cent to nine per cent.
Around 56 per cent of respondents said they believed the inflation target of two per cent was about right, slightly up from previous quarter, 17 per cent said the target was too high while 15 per cent said it was too low.
The survey found that 34 per cent of respondents believed interest rates had fallen in the last year, down from 41 per cent in February. Around 23 per cent of respondents said that interest rates had increased in the last year, the same as in February.
Although the Bank of England yesterday kept interest rates at 0.5 per cent for the 13th consecutive month 52 per cent of respondents said they expected rates to increase in the next 12 months, down from 54 per cent in February. Six per cent of respondents said they expected rates to fall in the next 12 months, more or less unchanged from the last few quarters.
When asked what would be best for the economy 25 per cent of respondents said interest rates should go up, down from 28 per cent in February, 15 per cent said interest rates should be lowered while 37 per cent said interest rates should remain at 0.5 per cent.
A balance of +15 per cent of respondents said they agreed that a rise in interest rates would make prices rise more slowly in the short term, up from +14 per cent in February. When asked if interest rate rises would make prices rise more slowly in the medium term a balance of +24 per cent of respondents agreed, down from 26 per cent in February.
A balance of +29 per cent of respondents said they believed the Bank of England was "doing its job to set interest rates and to control inflation".
The survey interviewed 2,055 people aged 15 and over.