Coronavirus impact on cash in circulation in Europe 2008-2020

The demand for banknotes grew significantly among European consumers in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. When looking at the value of Euro banknotes that enter circulation, week 12 (or the week from March 16 to March 22) sees the biggest growth since late 2008, increasing by nearly 19 billion euros and marking the high point of a build-up that started in week 9 (February 24 to March 1). Cash demand was not as high in April, showing fluctuations between four billion euros and eight billion euros per week. Regardless, the increase in cash in circulation resonates with late 2008 and the freezing of financial systems worldwide after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. Europe has large differences when it comes to the use of cash money in daily consumer transactions. Consumers from the five Nordics countries and the United Kingdom, for example, were least likely to use cash money in 2018. The opposite was true for countries such as Greece or Cyprus, were cash money played a much bigger role.

Value of Euro banknotes in circulation in Europe from January 2008 to May 2020

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Release date

May 2020



Survey time period

Week 1, 2008 to week 19, 2020

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Statistics on "Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the CEE region"

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