The imminent threat of recession across Europe will force the Bank of England to extend its stimulus beyond the extra 75 billion pounds announced last month, according to a large majority of economists polled by Reuters.
Britain's economy is in a perilous state. Linked inextricably to a euro zone that appears to be descending into a new recession, the UK is also labouring under fierce government spending cuts and rising unemployment.
This dire mix prompted Bank policymakers to expand their quantitative easing (QE) programme of asset purchases to 275 billion pounds in total last month, but it won't likely end there.
Forty-four out of 52 economists polled this week said the Bank would inject further rounds of fresh money into the economy, with those who thought so sizing it at a median 325 billion pounds -- unchanged from a poll run last month. There was one forecast for 500 billion pounds.
Although we remain unconvinced that QE will do much to stimulate economic activity, it is one of the few policy instruments left to the Bank, which is why we look for more action, said Peter Dixon, UK economist at Commerzbank.
The government is steadfastly keeping to its aggressive budget deficit-reduction plan, which will inevitably drag on economic growth.
So pressure will remain on the Bank to help offset that, even with inflation at more than double its 2.0 percent target.
Several respondents said it was likely the Bank would announce further rounds of asset purchases -- which comprise mainly British government bonds held by banks -- in the first quarter of next year.
By the time that the Bank finishes the 75 billion pounds of purchases, the fresh high frequency data will have shown a further weakening of the real economy, said Brian Hilliard, chief UK economist at Societe Generale.
Business surveys on Monday showed the manufacturing sector entered a sharp decline in October, with new orders shrinking at the fastest pace since March 2009, in the nadir of the Great Recession.
Britain's economy grew 0.5 percent in the third quarter, although economists expect almost no growth in the current quarter.
As in previous surveys, the poll showed the Bank holding interest rates at their record low 0.5 percent through to 2013 at least.
Our central case is that rates will not rise until Q1 2013, said Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec.
However, given the uncertainty facing the economy, it is impossible to be confident over the timing and there is a good chance that rates remain close to zero for a protracted period.
(Editing by Hugh Lawson)