The Bank of England opted not to inject more stimulus into the economy on Thursday, despite the escalating euro zone crisis, but analysts reckon it may soon have to up its bond-buying programme to ward off a recession. Following are analysts' reactions to the Bank's decision to maintain its quantitative easing target at 275 billion pounds and hold interest rates at 0.5 percent.
CHRIS WILLIAMSON, MARKIT
The Bank of England left policy unchanged at its meeting today, but if the economic situation continues to deteriorate at home and in the euro area it would not be surprising to see further stimulus added before the end of the year, on top of the 275 billion pounds of quantitative easing that is already in place.
With exports falling and the domestic market suffering from weak business and consumer confidence, there is a strong likelihood that the UK could contract in the fourth quarter, though probably only modestly.
However, if the euro zone crisis escalates further, which is quite possible given the current political limbo in Italy and Greece, a UK contraction could extend into early next year, raising the risk of steeper, double-dip recession.
A swift resolution to the euro area's debt crisis would mean this risk is low, but any signs of the situation worsening could therefore prompt the Bank to step in and add support to the UK economy via more QE - printing more money - possibly as soon as the December meeting.
VICKY REDWOOD, CAPITAL ECONOMICS
It was never very likely that the MPC would alter the scale of its renewed asset purchases so quickly after restarting the programme last month. Nonetheless, we expect next week's Inflation Report to lay the foundations for a further extension of the programme in December or early next year.
Nonetheless, with the news since October's meeting clearly vindicating the Committee's decision to act urgently, we doubt that we will have to wait long for even more quantitative easing (QE) to be announced.
We expect the MPC to revise down both its growth and inflation forecasts quite sharply in next week's Inflation Report. At a minimum, the Report is likely to endorse market expectations for interest rates to stay on hold for the next two or three years. But it could also suggest that more QE will be necessary if the inflation target at the two year horizon is to be met. So despite this month's pause, further QE should not be far off.
ALAN CLARKE, SCOTIA CAPITAL
It came and went without any surprises. The MPC will have had the inflation projection which will show it below target in two years -- probably at 1.75 percent.
There may have been one dissenting voice for more QE but they have the programme in the pipeline and it is steady as she goes for now.
If the euro zone goes pop the BoE may well expand its programme sooner.
HOWARD ARCHER, IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT
No surprises from the Bank of England. It was always a safe bet that November's MPC meeting would not result in any major policy developments from the Bank of England given that the extra 75 billion pounds of quantitative easing that was announced last month is expected to take four months to complete.
However, further Bank of England stimulative action remains firmly on the cards for early-2012 given that latest data and survey evidence generally portray an economy that is struggling to grow at all amid serious domestic and international headwinds. And the headwinds from the Eurozone are blowing harder making renewed recession in the UK an ever increasing danger.