Why Is There A Coin Shortage During The Pandemic?

It’s not expected to be a long-term issue.

Are you having difficulty finding coins during the pandemic? You aren’t alone. According to the Federal Reserve, a decline in the circulation of coins is occurring because people are not spending them as regularly. They tend to shop online or pay with their card. People aren’t spending cash and coins at brick and mortar stores as often because they are either closed or are not accepting cash at this time.

Don’t be overly concerned, because coins are still out there. The US treasury feels that $47.8 billion worth of coins is in the market. Compared to this time last year, that is more than 1 billion extra coins.

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Recently, however, people are not going to places such as banks, laundromats, restaurants, and shops to spend the coins. They aren’t going out because of the pandemic, so the coins end up at home.

According to the Federal Reserve: “While there is an adequate overall amount of coins in the economy, the slowed pace of circulation has reduced available inventories in some areas of the country.”

There was more than a 40% drop in sales at bars, gas stations, and restaurants in April this year, compared with the same month last year. Sales are going up, but there are many businesses that continue to remain closed. Others are only operating at minimum capacity.

The Federal Reserve now wants banks to make it easier for customers to deposit coins and they only want them to order as many as they need. A $5 bonus is even being offered by a Wisconsin bank system for every $100 in coins they bring to the branch. They were only able to keep the program open for a week because it was so successful.