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With a lot of Concerns about the strength of the economic recovery and the eurozone debt crisis meant that economists had expected rates to remain unchanged. Interest rates have been kept at 0.5% since March 2009.

With UK retail sales growth weakest since May the The Bank did have any choice but to announce any increase in its policy of quantitative easing. In October, where the Bank said it would pump another £75bn into the economy.

Shoppers are keeping a "tight rein" on their spending in the run up to Christmas, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said. Its retail sales monitor found that retail sales only grew 0.7% in November, which was the weakest growth since May.

With UK manufacturing output down 0.7% in October the health in the Property market has never been more important.

Recent economic data has made gloomy reading, with the influential NIESR think-tank estimating this week that growth slowed again in the three months to November to 0.3%, from 0.4% in the three months to October.

It followed warnings from Bank governor Sir Mervyn King that UK banks should brace themselves for a potential eurozone collapse amid fears of a second credit crunch.

Howard Archer, analyst at IHS Global Insight, said: "Holding back on more QE until early 2012 also gives the MPC more time to judge whether inflationary pressures are easing, which some committee members believe is important for the Bank of England's credibility before it goes further down the QE road."
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London Transport and Virgin Media have named first 80 busiest and major underground stations in London which are all set to receive Wi-Fi services for the Olympics season. Destinations including London Bridge, Oxford Circus, Leicester Square, Mile End, Tower Hill, Tufnell Park, Goodge Street, King’s Cross, Oval, Borough and Victoria are on the list to turn into accessible Wi-Fi hotspots.

The UK economy shrank for the last three months of 2011 - BCC predicts that growth will be flat this year , with one quarter of contraction, but says a full-blown recession is not inevitable if the government acts. It showed that in October, the service sector contracted by (a revised) 0.6%, while in November it grew by 0.6%.

Peacocks chief executive expected to lodge rescue offer for stricken fashion chain, while Past Times is closing 46 stores with the loss of 574 jobs. Peacock employs more than 400 at its Cardiff HQ and nearly 10,000 more across the UK.

Halifax index also shows a 0.9% decline in December 2011 and predicts a broadly stable 2012 … providing the UK can avoid the recession. The price of the average house in the UK is now just over £160,000, said the bank, thanks to a 0.9% fall in prices in December 2011 and a 1.3% drop over the whole of the year.

Europe’s worst financial crisis in generations is forging a new European Union, pushing Britain to the sidelines and creating a more integrated, fiscally disciplined core of nations under the auspices of a resurgent Germany.