US Banknote Production Slows In December To Near 3-Year Low

by CoinNews.net on January 27, 2017 · 0 comments

American dollar money Franklin portrait close-upBanknote production slowed in December for a fourth straight month and to an almost 3-year low, data from the agency responsible for printing U.S. currency shows.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) produced 423.36 million banknotes last month, the lowest amount since February 2014, for a combined value of about $11 billion. By comparison, the BEP in November made 538.24 million notes worth over $13.5 billion.

In percentages from the prior month, December saw 21.3% fewer notes and their combined value was 18.6% lower. In other month-over-month comparisons, there were:

  • 12.1% fewer $1s;
  • 18.2% fewer $5s;
  • 29.3% fewer $20s;
  • 66.7% fewer $50s; and
  • 45.5% more $100s.

The BEP did not make $10s for a second month in a row after nine straight months of pressing them. $2s have not been made since July, and more are not expected for some time. The Federal Reserve noted that their FY 2016 order for $2s was enough to meet demand for "multiple years."

Compared to the same month in 2015, the number of notes declined 8.4% from 462,000,000 and their total value was down 7.2% from $11,874,400,000. Going forward, fewer notes will be printed on average this year since the Fed ordered 7.1 billion banknotes for FY 2017 compared to 7.6 billion banknotes in FY 2016. (The BEP operates on a fiscal year that begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.)

Below are images of the BEP’s latest monthly production report. They show the type of banknotes manufactured at the agency’s two printing facilities.

December 2016 BEP Banknote Production

Facility at Washington, DC

BEP Money Production in Washington DC, December 2016

Facility at Fort Worth, TX

BEP Money Production in Fort Worth TX, December 2016

The BEP printed 4.16 million star notes, split across $1s, $20s, and $100s. Star notes are replacements for misprinted or damaged notes and for certain serial numbers like 000 000 000. They have serial numbers that end with a star “*” designation, and are also so indicated by quantities in the images above. Money collectors usually find star notes more desirable since they can be harder to find.

The following table lists the type, the amount and the total value of banknotes printed by the BEP for the month:

Banknotes by Denomination: Total Printed and Values

December 2016

Banknotes Total Printed Total Value ($)
$1.00 163,200,000 163,200,000
$2.00
$5.00 57,600,000 288,000,000
$10.00
$20.00 109,120,000 2,182,400,000
$50.00 19,200,000 960,000,000
$100.00 74,240,000 7,424,000,000
Totals 423,360,000 11,017,600,000

 

For comparison, four previous monthly money production tables follow.

Banknotes by Denomination: Total Printed and Values

November 2016

Banknotes Total Printed Total Value ($)
$1.00 185,600,000 185,600,000
$2.00
$5.00 70,400,000 352,000,000
$10.00
$20.00 154,240,000 3,084,800,000
$50.00 57,600,000 2,880,000,000
$100.00 70,400,000 7,040,000,000
Totals 538,240,000 13,542,400,000

 

October 2016

Banknotes Total Printed Total Value ($)
$1.00 236,800,000 236,800,000
$2.00
$5.00 83,200,000 416,000,000
$10.00 6,400,000 64,000,000
$20.00 144,000,000 2,880,000,000
$50.00 71,040,000 3,552,000,000
$100.00 134,400,000 13,440,000,000
Totals 675,840,000 20,588,800,000

 

September 2016

Banknotes Total Printed Total Value ($)
$1.00 314,100,000 314,100,000
$2.00
$5.00 76,800,000 384,000,000
$10.00 32,000,000 320,000,000
$20.00 134,400,000 2,688,000,000
$50.00 64,000,000 3,200,000,000
$100.00 99,200,000 9,920,000,000
Totals 720,500,000 16,826,100,000

 

August 2016

Banknotes Total Printed Total Value ($)
$1.00 320,350,000 320,350,000
$2.00
$5.00 76,800,000 384,000,000
$10.00 32,000,000 320,000,000
$20.00 160,320,000 3,206,400,000
$50.00 41,600,000 2,080,000,000
$100.00 89,600,000 8,960,000,000
Totals 720,670,000 15,270,750,000

 

Federal Reserve data indicates that there was approximately $1.5 trillion in circulation as of Jan. 11, 2017, of which $1.46 trillion was in Federal Reserve notes.

"Recent estimates show that between one-half and two-thirds of the value of U.S. currency in circulation is held abroad," the BEP notes.

As a perspective, the BEP in FY 2016 delivered its 7.6 billion notes at an average cost of 10 cents each. More than 90% of those printed were for replacing those already in, or taken out of circulation.

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