News Analysis: Euro cash in demand

While the euro-area's economy may be sluggish, demand for the euro - as hard cash - has started to take off. According to the ECB's annual report for 2003, the value of euro banknotes in circulation increased by over 20% in 2003 to €436 billion. Almost half of this increase represented demand for the eurosystem's highest value note, the €500. The value of dollar notes in circulation at the last count (end-May 2004) was $692 billion (€569 billion). By this measure, the euro's bid to challenge the