Insights into Bulgaria's Banknote Circulation Trends Before Eurozone Entry

As Bulgaria inches closer to potential entry into the Eurozone, a closer examination of the nation's banknote circulation provides valuable insights into its monetary landscape. According to recent statistics released by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), nearly 6 million leva banknotes were in circulation at the end of March, shedding light on the currency preferences and usage patterns within the country.

The data reveals a steady increase in the number of leva banknotes in circulation, with a total of 582,453,492 units recorded by the end of March. This marks a slight uptick of 0.18 percent compared to the previous month, underscoring the enduring reliance on physical currency for transactions.

Among the various denominations, banknotes valued at BGN 50 emerged as the most prevalent, comprising a substantial portion of the total circulation with 240,444,904 pieces. Following closely behind were banknotes of BGN 100, amounting to 133,189,861 units, and those with a denomination of BGN 20, totaling 98,200,556 pieces.

In terms of value, the total worth of banknotes in circulation stood at BGN 28,253,141,535 at the end of March, reflecting a modest increase of 0.4 percent compared to the previous month. However, alongside legitimate currency, the presence of counterfeit banknotes poses a persistent challenge, with 225 fake banknotes detected and seized in the first quarter of the year.

Of particular concern are counterfeit banknotes with denominations of BGN 50, which accounted for the majority of detected fakes. Instances of counterfeit banknotes with other denominations, including BGN 20, BGN 100, BGN 10, and even BGN 5, were also recorded, highlighting the need for heightened vigilance in combating counterfeit currency circulation.

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