(Updates Monday story to reflect anniversary of QE start)
By Vincent Flasseur and Marc Jones
LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - A year into the European Central Bank’s money printing programme, Mario Draghi and his colleagues have spent more than 700 billion euros, and yet the results are far from what they would have hoped.
Having spent the equivalent of 1.3 million euros a minute or 2,000 euros ($2,200) for every man, woman and child in the 19-country euro zone, inflation barely registers, economic growth remains sluggish, and stock markets are down 13 percent.
The euro is almost 5 percent higher against the dollar even though Draghi’s peers across the Atlantic have started to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade.
There are some positive signs - euro zone bond market borrowing costs are lower although not everywhere, unemployment has continued to fall and there is tentative evidence that bank lending to firms and households is gradually picking up.
The ECB estimates its measures will add almost 1 percentage point to GDP between 2015 and 2017, a sizable chunk given that growth is less than 2 percent, and that its non-standard measures since mid-2014 had an impact equal to 100 basis points worth of interest rate cuts in normal conditions.
On Thursday, the day after QE reaches its first anniversary, the ECB ends its next policy meeting. The perceived lack of traction for the scheme so far has ramped up expectations for more stimulus measures.
Further cuts to the central bank’s already sub-zero deposit rate are priced in, while analysts predict the ECB will increase the scale of its 60 billion euros-a-month QE programme and/or extend it further beyond its proposed end date in March 2017. ($1 = 0.9137 euros) (Writing by John Geddie and Marc Jones,; Additional reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Alison Williams)