Banknotes and coins circulation

The statistics referenced on this page are updated around the 14th working day of each month. They cover

  • data on outstanding amounts (stocks) of euro banknotes and coins in circulation
  • transactions data (flows) on the banknotes and coins issued into circulation, returned from circulation, sorted to check authenticity & fitness and sorted to unfit during the reporting period
  • the number of NCBs/commercial banks branches providing cash in the euro area
  • the value of euro collector coins not intended for circulation issued by the euro area Member States.

The main aggregates for these statistics are shown on this page. More data are available through the Statistical Data Warehouse (see below). Data are not seasonally adjusted.

The ECB closely monitors the stock and circulation of euro banknotes and coins. It is the Eurosystem’s task to ensure a smooth and efficient supply of euro banknotes and to maintain their integrity.

Data


Statistical Data Warehouse – interactive data access

Circulation of euro banknotes

Circulation of euro coins

All time series

Time series start from January 2002. Stock data refer to the amount outstanding at the end of the reporting period. Flows data refer to the cumulated amount between the first and the last day of the reporting period.

All time series of banknotes and coins statistics

Background

Differences between “banknotes and coins statistics” and “monetary statistics’’

A difference can be seen below between the figures for the "net circulation of banknotes and coins" under "banknotes and coins statistics" and those for "currency in circulation" on the aggregated balance sheet of the monetary and financial institutions (MFI) sector.

The difference, which amounts to approximately 0.2% in terms of the total issuance, is largely due to the different ways collector coins are treated in participating Member States. In addition, differences can be seen in the data for the year 2002 and for the months after each euro area enlargement. Here, discrepancies between the two sets of figures are largely due to legacy currencies being included in the category “currency in circulation”.

Euro collector coins are by definition not intended for circulation and only have legal tender status in the country of issue. Therefore, they are excluded from the banknotes statistics figures for "net circulation of banknotes and coins" but are included, at least by some participating Member States, in the monetary statistics figures for “currency in circulation”. In banknotes and coins statistics, information on euro collector coins is contained in a separate series called “collector coins issued net of collector coins returned”.

Differences between “banknotes and coins statistics” and “monetary statistics”
(All figures in EUR millions)
Year Banknotes and coins statistics Monetary statistics Difference between (1) and (3)
  Net circulation of banknotes and coins (1) Collector coins issued net of collector coins returned (*) (2) Currency in circulation (3)
(MFI aggregated balance sheet)
 
2015 1,109,442 3,523 1,111,806 -2,363
2016 1,153,155 3,776 1,155,399 -2,244
2017 1,198,732 3,482 1,201,102 -2,370

* Collector coins not intended for circulation have legal tender status only in the country of issue and are not produced for the purpose of being used as a means of payment. They must be easily distinguishable from euro circulation coins, which include normal coins and commemorative coins.

As regards the MFI consolidated balance sheet, the figure for “net circulation of banknotes and coins” in the banknotes and coins statistics differs more significantly from the monetary statistics figure for “currency in circulation”. This is because “currency in circulation” as presented in the MFI consolidated balance sheet only refers to banknotes and coins circulating outside the MFI sector. “Vault cash”, i.e. currency held by MFIs in order to meet day-to-day business needs, is not included in the consolidated figure.

Monthly monetary statistics on currency in circulation are published in the ECB’s Statistics Bulletin (Tables 2.1 and 2.2 in the euro area statistics section). For interactive data access see the relevant reports in the SDW:

Statistics Bulletin: 2. Money, banking and investment funds

Glossary of terms

Net circulation of banknotes and coins

The number and value of euro banknotes issued by the Eurosystem central banks, without further distinction as to who is holding the currency issued, i.e. also including the stocks held by credit institutions.

Collector coins issued net of collector coins returned

The total face value of all euro collector coins, which are defined as coins not intended for circulation. Euro collector coins have legal tender status only in the country of issue. They must be readily distinguishable from euro circulation coins. Official definitions of “euro circulation coins” and “euro collector coins” can be found in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ C 247, 15.10.2003, p.5).

Banknotes and coins returned from circulation

The number and value of banknotes and coins returned to the reporting national central bank (NCB) during the reporting period.

Banknotes and coins sorted to check authenticity & fitness

The number and value of banknotes checked for authenticity and fitness by the reporting NCB, either using banknote sorting machines or manually, during the reporting period.

Sorted to unfit

The number and value of banknotes found to be unfit, and thus withdrawn from circulation, during the reporting period.

Banknotes series

The design series of euro banknotes issued by the Eurosystem central banks.

Figures for “banknotes returned from circulation” and “net circulation of banknotes” split by design series (first series and Europa series) are estimates.