The U.S. Mint will be increasing production of quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies after reports of shortages of coins over the last several weeks.
Last month the Federal Reserve implemented quotas for coins to protect its inventories. Because of that, banks and other distributors began to run low on supplies themselves.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell blamed the Covid19 pandemic for the disruption to the normal flow of supplies.
“With the partial closure of the economy, the flow of funds through the economy has stopped,” Powell said during a virtual Congressional hearing last week. “We are working with the Mint and the Reserve Banks and as the economy re-opens we are starting to see money move around again.”
But coin production for circulation has actually decreased during the last couple of years, before the Covid19 pandemic. The restrictions for Mint workers because of the Coronavirus has only exacerbated matters.
In the second half of this year the Mint expects to increase production to 1.2 – 1.35 billion coins per month, which would put total production for the year on par with recent years.
Americans who wish to deposit coins into their bank accounts to help circulation are encouraged to do so. Officials also said the public can help businesses who need coins to operate by paying electronically whenever they can. That may have been the goal all along.
Photo by Theodore Palser