The European Central Bank said on 5 March that it will launch into quantitative easing next week having increased its economic growth forecasts for this year and next.

President Mario Draghi said the first bond purchases with new money would take place on 9 March.

"We will on 9 March 2015 start purchasing euro-dominated public sector securities in the secondary market. We will also continue purchasing asset-backed securities and covered bonds which we started last year," he told journalists in Nicosia.

The eurozone's central bank has said it will buy €60bn (£43.4bn, $66bn) a month until September 2016 or until inflation is pushed backed towards a target of close to but below 2%.

The ECB, which left interest rates on hold at record lows just above zero at its meeting off-base in Cyprus on Thursday (5 March), lifted its growth forecast to 1.5% for this year, from the 1.0% it predicted in December.

For 2016, growth of 1.9% is now expected, up from a previous 1.5%.

"Looking ahead, we expect the economic recovery to broaden and strengthen gradually," Draghi added.

The bank has a long way to go to convince markets its plans will be effective. Only half of the economists polled by Reuters think bond buying will help inflation rise towards the target of close to but below 2% and half think the purchases will be extended.

There are tentative signs inflation has bottomed out.

"The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area remain on the downside but have diminished following recent monetary policy decisions and the fall in oil prices," Draghi said.

In Frankfurt, the DAX hit a new all-time high of over 11,500 points.

Anticipation of the QE program has driven eurozone borrowing costs down to the point where Spain can borrow for 10 years at under 1.3% and investors actually pay for the privilege of lending to Germany for five years. Yields in Italy, Spain and Portugal dropped to record lows this week.