Despite the continued economic challenges, reduction in cash use (and for that matter all other payments) cash in circulation continues to surge reinforcing the unique role cash serves as both a means of payment and a store of wealth.

Reserve Bank of Australia June 2020 month end cash in circulation statistics reveal another all time high for the value of Australian Dollars on issue at $90.1 billion, an increase of just over $2billion on May and a climb of $6.1billion from December 2019 year end. This growth is a 7.3% increase for the half year and contrasts with falls between year end and mid year in every other year of the past decade.

Higher denomination banknotes ($50 and $100) again account for the bulk of the increase with $50s up $1,455M in the month and $100s up $546M.

Following the shocking down turn in payment volumes for April (see my article Not dead yet, the ups and downs of cash and other payments for more information) it will be fascinating to see what May numbers reveal when they are published by the Reserve Bank mid month.

How much of the continued growth in notes in circulation can be attributed to consumer hoarding, precautionary stocking of the supply chain, or in readiness for a recovery? Only time and the numbers will tell.