The amount of euro in circulation yesterday surpassed the amount of Irish pounds in circulation for the first time, according to the Central Bank.

By close of business yesterday, the bank had issued euro notes and coins with a total value of €2,942m into circulation. The corresponding Irish pound amount in circulation was valued at €2,717m.

The Central Bank says it has now started to issue €200 and €500 notes into circulation, though it says they are not widely available. It adds that the pattern of bank note circulation appears to be returning to normal as retailers and customers begin to lodge euro with their banks.

The amount of euro has also surpassed national currencies across the Eurozone, according to the ECB, which predicts that nearly all cash transactions will be processed in euro by the end of the week.