Britons predict interest rate rise

Nearly two-fifths of British people (38%) believe interest rates will rise next year, according to a survey published today.

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Some 38% of Britons predict interest rates will rise next year, a survey showed

Nearly two-fifths of British people (38%) believe interest rates will rise next year, according to a survey published today.

It was the top prediction for 2014 among more than 2,000 people questioned for the study.

A similar proportion (37%) predicted Scotland will vote to remain part of Great Britain in its referendum, while next most popular was that the UK will experience a long winter of heavy snow (29%).

Other favourite predictions were that one or more countries will leave the EU (21%), and that Prince Harry will propose to girlfriend Cressida Bonas (17%).

Some 13% think X Factor will end for good while one in five (19%) think England will be knocked out on penalties at the World Cup.

Happily, despite the fact that 29% predict a long, white winter, one in seven (14%) also envisage a summer heatwave.

The survey of 2,002 adults was carried out online by Opinium Research from December 3-6.

:: In a separate survey, market researcher WIN/Gallup International found that only 16% of the UK's population has a positive outlook for the economy, with 48% believing 2014 will offer the same picture as this year.

This was in spite of more than half of those in the UK (53%) saying they are happy - a figure 8% higher than in the Western Europe region generally.

The survey of people from 65 countries found that for people who would like to change their nation of residence, some 9% would choose the US, with Canada and Australia jointly being second choice (7%) and Switzerland third (6%).

Only 4% of the world's population would like to live in the UK, a figure common to other European countries including Spain, France and Italy.

In each country a national sample of around 1,000 men and women was interviewed either face to face, via telephone or online, between September and December. In the UK, 1,000 were questioned online between December 6 and December 9.