Why do U.S. coins seem to be in short supply?

Business and bank closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coins. While there is an adequate overall amount of coins in the economy, the slowed pace of circulation has reduced available inventories in some areas of the country.

The Federal Reserve is working with the U.S. Mint and others in the industry on solutions. As a first step, a temporary cap was imposed on the orders depository institutions place for coins with the Federal Reserve to ensure that the current supply is fairly distributed. In addition, a U.S. Coin Task Force was formed to identify, implement, and promote actions to address disruptions to coin circulation.

Since mid-June, the U.S. Mint has been operating at full production capacity, minting almost 1.6 billion coins in June and is on track to mint 1.65 billion coins per month for the remainder of the year.

As the economy recovers and businesses reopen, more coins will flow back into retail and banking channels and eventually into the Federal Reserve, which should allow for the rebuilding of coin inventories.

Related Information

Federal Reserve Convenes U.S. Coin Task Force with Industry Partners

Strategic Allocation of Coin Inventories

United States Mint Statement on Circulating Coins

Video: United States Mint Public Service Announcement

How the Federal Reserve Fosters Payment and Settlement System Safety and Efficiency (PDF)

Related Questions

What is the Federal Reserve doing in response to COVID-19?

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Last Update: August 07, 2020