First it was toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Now it’s coins?

I was reading the New Jersey subreddit and people were posting that they were seeing signs in stores all over New Jersey asking for exact change because of a national coin shortage.

Well, it’s true: the Federal Reserve issued a warning that the pandemic has interrupted the supply chain and circulation of coins. According to news reports and social media posts, stores like Wawa, Rite-Aid, and Lowes are all warning customers to have exact change or use a debit/credit card for purchases. According to the New York Post, the US Mint has slowed production of coins to protect workers and bank deposits of coins have been reduced because of all the business closures resulting in fewer coins being circulated.

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Last month, the Federal Reserve began temporarily allocating set amounts of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to banks; a move they say will be revisited as more businesses open up and the coin circulation problem eases up. The government is also asking consumers to help with the shortage by turning in any change they might have to coin counting machines or banks to put more coins back in circulation.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell told a House committee that they are starting to see signs that the crunch is getting a little better, saying, “As the economy reopens, we’re seeing coins begin to move around again.” Until then, keep using the debit card, I guess.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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