Paper Money

Fed order for notes might Increase in 2022

Table and graph illustrate the Federal Reserve’s orders for Federal Reserve notes from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for Fiscal Year 2022.

Image courtesy of the Federal Reserve.

Even though it was only made public Dec. 16, the Federal Reserve Board says it approved and submitted its currency order to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on July 31, 60 days in advance of the start of the 2022 fiscal year.

The BEP fiscal year is from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 and the date of the order is the latest date permitted under law.

The board stated that the year’s print order was heavily influenced by unprecedented demand for paper currency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The board continued the recent practice of issuing its order in a range by denomination instead of with specificity. This is so it can better handle pandemic-induced shifts in note demand and production. The board and BEP staff, it says, “will adjust production of each denomination within these ranges to best match available production with demand throughout the year.”

The size of the order is determined by several factors, including both domestic and international demand. Other considerations are destruction rates of unfit notes, trends in net payments, and other operational impacts. The board defines unfit notes as ones received in deposits that do not meet the Federal Reserve’s quality criteria for recirculation and are destroyed.

The order’s total size, from 6.9 billion notes to 9.7 billion pieces, could end up being an increase of 2.7 billion notes, 32.1% more than the 7 billion pieces the BEP delivered last year, or at the low end of the range, it could be down 1.6%.

The order is dominated almost equally by $20 notes (2.36 billion to 2.6 billion pieces) and $100 notes (2.2 billion to 2.5 billion), the latter denomination usually reflecting demand from international customers. The $1 note ranks third, with a very wide range of from 800 million to 2.3 billion. The order for $50 notes, at 752 million to 851 million, is higher than that for both the $5 note (403 million to 602 million) and the $10 (256 million to 602 million). After no $2 bills were ordered in 2020, and only 38.4 million to 51.2 million of them last year, the new order calls for from 102.4 million to 204.8 million $2 notes, the most since 2019.

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