With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to disrupt the normal circulation of coinage in the U.S. economy, the U.S. Coin Task Force convened by the Federal Reserve issued a statement Friday describing the circulation slowdown and urging consumers to get coins back into use.
The task force — which includes the American Bankers Association, alongside representatives from the Fed, the U.S. Mint, the armored car industry, food distribution and other sectors — urged consumers to start spending the coins they have at home (while observing coronavirus-related precautions), deposit coins at their financial institutions and redeem coins at retail coin kiosks. The task force also urged people to use the hashtag #getcoinmoving in social media posts to help the public understand that the circulation slowdown is not a coin shortage.
“Many have referred to this as a shortage; however it is not,” the statement said. “There is approximately $48 billion in coin already in circulation, most of which is sitting dormant inside America’s 128 million households. As people have changed their spending habits, and coin-intensive businesses and financial institution lobbies have been less accessible, the nation’s coin is pooling in change jars, in car cup holders and in shuttered businesses, making it difficult for the businesses of this country to get the coin that they need to support cash transactions.”
Last week, the U.S. Mint said it has been operating at full production capacity since mid-June, producing almost 1.6 billion coins in June alone and expects to continue producing at around that capacity for the remainder of the year. ABA continues to be engaged on addressing the issue through its participation in the task force.