THE Bank of England left monetary policy unchanged on Thursday as expected, voting as it did last month not to buy more government bonds and pump money into Britain's stagnant economy.
The decision comes despite finance minister George Osborne saying on Wednesday that Britain's economy would grow much more slowly than expected over the next three years and that a key debt reduction goal would not be met.
The forecasts also showed Britain's economy was likely to shrink over the last three months of 2012 - a prospect reinforced by weak trade data earlier on Thursday and downbeat purchasing managers' surveys this week.
After a two-day meeting, the BoE's nine-member Monetary Policy Committee said its main interest rate would stay at a record-low 0.5pc and it would not add to the £375bn of bonds it has bought so far.
None of the 66 economists polled by Reuters last week had expected a change in interest rates or in the BoE's bond buying total.