The U.S. Mint has increased its coin production, planning to ship 1.35 billion coins per month across the country for the rest of the year, following shortages in circulation.
Statista reported on 6th July 2020, that coin production of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters by the U.S. Mint had decreased in the first half of 2020. State-wide lockdowns caused closures of parts of the economy and restrictions for mint workers. Cash, both banknotes and coins, have been safe to use during covid-19 as confirmed by countless medical experts and central banks. That did not prevent many non-cash payment providers from exploiting fears and spreading fake news, trying to boost their business. Consequently, during the periods of lockdown many people refrained from using coin change kiosks or loose change, leading to a lack of coins in circulation.
Mid-June 2020, The Federal Reserve advised banks and other depository institutions that they would be distributing coins of all denominations based on quotas “to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of existing coin inventory to all depository institutions.” The Federal Reserve advised measures would be reviewed in the future, but “change would need to begin circulating through commerce for things to go back to normal.”
“The coin shortage has been mainly caused by coins not re-entering distribution,” Michael White, a spokesman for the Mint, said in an emailed statement. “With businesses opening back up, we expect that the situation will improve as Americans return their coins to banks or recycling machines for redistribution.”
The demand for coins after the easing of lockdowns across the U.S. comes as welcome news for cash, showing that even its smallest denominations, it remains in demand in the United States.