The Bank of England is likely to stop short of announcing further stimulus for Britain's fragile economy on Thursday, holding fire until at least February when it will have new growth and inflation forecasts to guide it.

The central bank said in October that it would buy 75 billion pounds of gilts over the following four months, adding to its previous 200 billion pounds of quantitative easing, to give the economy a much-needed shot in the arm.

Recent mixed economic news has bolstered analysts' view that the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will want to see the bank's own assessment of the economy - due to be published in the quarterly inflation report in February - before deciding on its next step to boost growth.

February is an inflation report month and we think the MPC will prefer to calibrate its policy setting within the context of a full update of its forecasts, said Simon Hayes, economist at Barclays Capital.

Some recent business surveys showed a surprise pick-up in economic activity towards the end of 2011.

However, this week an employment survey added to concerns that joblessness will continue to rise in Britain, while the British Chambers of Commerce warned the economy was at risk of contracting in the first half of 2012.

The overall impression continues to be that the UK economy is struggling markedly, said Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight, adding that another recession was still a risk.

Also, by the time of the MPC's February meeting, the current round of quantitative easing will be concluded, making it easier for the market to digest new gilt purchases.

With the government's hands tied by its pledge to erase the country's huge budget deficit, the onus remains on the Bank to support growth, and markets are expecting interest rates to stay at a record low of 0.5 percent well into 2013.

(Editing by John Stonestreet)