Sharp rise in euro note circulation

While the euro-area's economy may be sluggish, demand for the euro - as hard cash - has started to take off. This weeks CentralBankNet Monday special suggests the euro's bid to challenge the dollar as the world's hoarded currency has truly begun.

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 represents demand for the eurosystem's highest value note, the €500. The value of US