The Bank of England held off from more economy-boosting measures today in what is likely to have been a knife-edge decision among policymakers.
On the fourth anniversary of interest rates being held at a record low of 0.5%, the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee resisted pressure to restart its quantitative easing programme, which currently stands at £375 billion sterling.
It is likely to have been swayed by signs of life in the services and retail sectors as the UK battles to avoid a triple-dip recession.
Speculation of more QE was fuelled by the support of Governor Mervyn King, who joined two colleagues in favour of more QE at the MPC's meeting last month.
Pressure for more action comes amid signs that the bank's flagship Funding for Lending scheme is so far struggling to encourage banks to lend more to UK households and businesses.
Most economists expect more QE this spring and think that interest rates will remain at a record low for another two years, dealing a blow to savers.
Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker recently told MPs that he had even put negative interest rates up for consideration as part of efforts to kick-start the recovery.
Mr Tucker admitted it was an idea that needed to be thought through carefully, although the bank is expected to look for other measures to support the faltering economy, which has weaved in and out of recession since the 2008 banking crisis.
Mr King said he favoured boosting the bank's quantitative easing (QE) programme by another £25 billion to £400 billion last month to aid growth.
A recent shock fall in manufacturing activity in February on top of gloomy construction figures has shown that the recovery is patchy across the economy and experts still believe there will be more QE later down the line.
Cameron says Bank of England must support recovery
British Prime Minister David Cameron said today that the Bank of England had to play its part in getting Britain's economy growing and said the government must curb spending and borrowing.
"We will not be able to build a sustainable recovery with long-term growth, unless we fix this fundamental problem of excessive government spending and borrowing that undermines our whole economy," Cameron told an audience in Yorkshire.
"The Bank of England must support the recovery without putting financial stability at risk," he added.
He also said that a sharp rise in interest rates would do "unthinkable" damage to the British economy.