Here’s Why There’s a National Coin Shortage in the U.S.

The claim: The U.S. is in the midst of a national coin shortage

As restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses around the country have posted signs near cash registers and on drive-thru windows requesting people to pay with credit cards or exact change, several widely shared Facebook posts have commented on the nation’s recent coin shortage

Some of the posts include a sign from a Texas-based grocery store chain H-E-B asking shoppers to use a debit card, credit card or correct change, if possible, due to the shortage.

The posts then warn against the potential of the U.S. becoming a “cashless society.”

Focusing in solely on the claim that the nation is experiencing a nationwide coin shortage — that’s true.

Why is the U.S. facing a coin shortage?

As the spreading coronavirus and resulting business closures crippled economic activity in the United States, the circulation of coins dropped off significantly. The U.S. Mint, which manufactures the nation’s coin supply, also decreased staffing in response to the pandemic.

As the nation’s businesses have reopened, demand for coins has exceeded the available supply.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on June 17 that the coin shortage has resulted from the partial closure of the economy.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Ian Richardson