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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

The different datasets on banknotes and coins

Three datasets with different objectives, scopes and methodologies provide information on banknote and coin circulation. These data do not indicate whether the banknotes or coins are physically circulating within the euro area or outside the euro area. Any economic interpretation of the data should take into account the methodologies and differences presented below.

Banknote and coin (BKN) statistics: “net circulation of euro banknotes/coins”

(monthly data as at the last calendar day of a month)

This item provides data on banknotes/coins put into circulation in the euro area. It is calculated for each individual country as the total euro banknotes/coins put into circulation by the national central bank (NCB) of that country since the introduction of the euro, minus all euro banknotes/coins returned to that NCB. Outstanding amounts may also be negative if the value/number of banknotes returned to an NCB is greater than the value/number it has issued because of banknote migration between the euro area countries. Aggregated for the whole euro area, these amounts give the “net circulation of banknotes” or “net circulation of coins” data item.

“Net circulation of coins” excludes any stocks of euro coins credited to the legal issuer but still physically held by the NCB (in countries where coins are issued by the treasury).

Monetary financial institution balance sheet items (BSI) statistics: “currency in circulation”

(monthly data as at the last calendar day of a month)

This item provides data on the aggregated and consolidated balance sheet of the monetary financial institutions (MFI) sector.

Euro banknotes in circulation are recorded as a liability of the Eurosystem. They are split between the NCBs and the ECB according to the banknote allocation key agreed by the Governing Council. When this liability does not match with the value of euro banknotes that a central bank has actually put into circulation, the difference is recorded as that central bank’s claim on, or liability towards, the Eurosystem. As the ECB does not put any euro banknotes into circulation, it always records a net claim on the Eurosystem.

Euro coins are always treated as a central bank liability for statistical purposes, even though it is typically governments that are the legal issuers.

“Currency in circulation” reflects the circulation of euro banknotes and coins outside the MFI sector as a whole. Any euro banknotes or coins held by MFIs in order to meet day-to-day business needs (“vault cash”) are therefore netted out.

Internal liquidity management (ILM) statistics: “banknotes in circulation”

(monthly data as at the Friday following the last Monday of a month)

This item reflects the consolidated financial statement of the Eurosystem and the banking system’s liquidity position. The amount of “banknotes in circulation” is recorded as a liability of the Eurosystem and split among the NCBs and the ECB according to the banknote allocation key. Euro coins are by definition not part of this item.

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.