According to recently published data from the European Central Bank (ECB), there are 14.6 billion euros in circulation during the first half of 2012.
Records from the Frankfurt-based bank indicate that there have been a tremendous number of counterfeit bills in circulation: 413,000 in the first half of 2009 and 447,000 in the second half of 2009. Since then, however, there has been a declining trend of counterfeit currency affecting the ECB and the 17 national central banks in the euro region.
The ECB’s biannual study
suggests that in the first half of 2012 there was an estimated 251,000 counterfeit euros. This number is down 15.2 percent compared to the same time one year prior. There was also a decrease of 19 percent in the quantity recovered compared to the second half of 2011.
Officials did not state why there was a decline of counterfeiting of the decade-old currency.
When breaking down the denominations, €20 and €50 denominations have proven to be the most counterfeited. Together, the two banknotes accounted for 77 percent of counterfeiting. €5 and €500 banknotes were the least counterfeited since both accounted for 0.5 percent of all denominations. The ECB is making strides, though, as counterfeit €20 bills have gone down, while the €50 notes have slightly increased.
In the analysis, it was discovered that 97.5 percent of all recovered counterfeit banknotes were found in euro countries. Only two percent of fake euros were retrieved in EU Member States outside the euro area and less than one percent were located around the globe.
Despite the successes the ECB has made, it is still urging the general public to remain alert when handling currency and making cash transactions. To tell if a banknote is genuine, conduct the “Feel-Look-Tilt” test
or compare a suspicious one with a real euro.