MPC increases QE by £75bn

This brings the size of the Bank’s asset purchase programme to a total of £275bn. This is the first time it has added to its QE programme since 2009.

The MPC also voted to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.5%.

Barry Naisbitt, chief economist at Santander, said: “While pressure for more quantitative easing has been growing in some quarters, the expectation of such a move built up after the publication of the September MPC minutes.

“With weak economic data recently both in the UK and in some of its main export markets and GDP growth in the second quarter now shown to have been just 0.1%, further quantitative easing is seen as one mechanism to boost economic activity and confidence.

“So with the economy barely growing in the second quarter, households’ real incomes being squeezed by high inflation, consumer confidence ebbing away, and evidence of slowing output growth in some sectors, MPC members have today decided that the economy needed some more policy impetus to boost confidence and growth.

“Markets will be looking to the MPC minutes for more comment on this change and to see if the MPC was unanimous in adopting it.”

Richard Barker, mortgage manager at Norwich & Peterborough, said: “The decision to leave Base Rate unchanged at 0.50% was very much expected across the market.

“Given the continued fragility of the UK economy and well-documented issues further afield in Europe at present, any increase is now predicted to be held off until 2012.

“Recent housing market data suggests that house prices remained stagnant in September and affordability for first time buyers continues to be stretched, further reinforcing the argument to keep rates on hold for longer."