Coronavirus Pandemic Leads to Coin Shortage

Federal Reserve Says Coronavirus Caused Coin Shortage

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The coronavirus pandemic could impact your wallet in a way you might not have considered.

Cash has not changed hands as often -- and neither have coins, leading to a shortage.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell gave his two cents to Congress this week.

“We’ve been aware of it. We’re working with the mint to increase supply. We’re working with the reserve banks to get that supply where it needs to be. So we think it’s a temporary situation,” Powell said.

Early on in the pandemic, concerns emerged that the virus can live on a number of surfaces, including dollar bills and coins. So, contactless payment methods quickly became the preferred way to pay.

With so many businesses closed, there weren’t a lot of places to use cash anyway.

On top of that, the U.S. Mint, which produces our currency, decreased coin production as a safety precaution for its own employees.

All of that has led to what’s happening now: a shortage of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

This week, the Fed began limiting the number of coins it distributes to financial institutions. It’s not expected to be a long-term problem.

“As the economy reopens we’re seeing coins begin to move around again," Powell said.

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