LONDON (Reuters) - More British people think the Bank of England will raise interest rates over the next year than three months ago as they see inflation picking up, a central bank survey showed on Friday.
The BoE said 41 percent of people surveyed in May expected the central bank to raise rates in the next 12 months, up from 38 percent in February but down from a recent peak of 50 percent in August.
Economists mostly predict a first rate hike in early 2017 although a vote for Britain to leave the European Union at a referendum on June 23 could prompt the BoE to cut rates to cushion the shock to the economy that a Brexit vote is likely to cause.
The Bank of England’s poll of more than 2,100 people aged 16 and over showed that they expected inflation to be 2.0 percent over the next 12 months, up from 1.8 percent expected in February, and to be 2.2 percent a year after that.
Annual consumer price inflation is currently 0.3 percent.
(This story corrects latest inflation figure to 0.3 percent in final paragraph)
Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Freya Berry