Tribuna Economica{/simplepopup}Some 331,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation in the first half of 2017, a decrease compared with the second half of 2016. The likelihood of receiving a counterfeit is thus very slight. The number of counterfeits remains very low compared with the number of genuine banknotes in circulation, which has risen steadily, at rates above GDP growth,

since they were introduced. In 2016, for instance, the number and value of euro banknotes in circulation grew by around 7.0% and 3.9% respectively. There are now over 20 billion euro banknotes in circulation, with a total value of more than €1.1 trillion.


During the first half of 2017: the €20 and €50 notes continued to be the most counterfeited banknotes. Together, they accounted for 85% of the counterfeits;  most of the counterfeits (96.7%) were found in euro area countries. Around 2.3% were found in EU Member States outside the euro area and 1.0% were found in other parts of the world.