The use of parts 1 and 2 centimes of euro again debate on the Continent. Little appreciated by consumers, who do not dispose of it, these pieces are more expensive to produce than what they are worth. An argument more ringing and stumbling, while the price of metals flies.
While the Finland decided to round prices to the nearest 5 cents to limit the use of these pieces, judged impractical, the Belgium was to stop their production, in 2005, to finally resume it the next year.... The Netherlands have also opted for the Borough of prices.
The striking of coins is supported at the national level, the European Central Bank (ECB) only with the role set the volume of parts that the national authorities are allowed to produce. In an interview with the magazine "60 million consumers", Serge Bertholomé, the head of the Department of the National Bank of Belgium studies, explains that produce a 1 cent coin costs 1.86 penny. The production of small parts and their dissemination would thus cost EUR 1 million per year to the Belgian Central Bank. It is relying on budgetary interests that Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders had justified the decision of the production of these parts.
The increase in the price of metals has accentuated the problem, moreover also in the United States, where Republican Senator, Jim Kolbe, submits a proposal for the deletion of the "penny". The ECB reiterates, however, that if the countries of the euro area are free to limit the use and production of these pieces, they are no less legal tender, which means that traders are required to accept them.
A priori, the circulation of the currency should offset the cost of production of parts, where an exhibit can be used indefinitely. But consumers tend to leave small parts to sleep in a piggy bank. We must therefore regularly produce news. The share of parts 1 and 2 centimes increases also from other parts and represents today, 48.3 of the total number of issued coins.
The removal of these parts is not yet the order of the day in France, where there is concern the inflationary effects of such a measure. A coin of 1 cent of euro worth 6.5 cents of franc, rounding prices would make increases between 6.5 and 13 cents. The accumulation of these small increases could effectively generate, in the term, a substantial price increase.
Yet, the countries who have chosen to supplement the price say not have had to suffer higher inflation. Only cash payments are concerned, the electronic regulations are always calculated to the nearest cent. Prices are, moreover, always displayed to the nearest cent and it is only the total addition to the Fund which is rounded. It can therefore doubt the inflationary effects of a measure which would not significantly change the prices of large surfaces, but could begin the competitiveness of small businesses.
In addition, if the increase in the share of these parts in production reflects their poor circulation, it also reflects the
need expressed by the traders. The decision of the National Bank of Belgium to resume the production of small parts in 2006, one year after the have interrupted, seems finally to indicate their economic usefulness.