There's a Major Shortage of This Vital Everyday Item Thanks to COVID-19
After months of economic shutdown, there's even less of this on hand than you think.
After months of business shutdowns and economic uncertainty, the feeling of being shorter on funds than usual is an unfortunately common one. But according to the Federal Reserve, this inkling might actually be quite literal. Officials are reporting that there's currently a serious coin shortage that they are working to fix as businesses reopen, according to a report from CNBC.
As many shoppers pivoted towards swiping their cards, tapping their phones, or using payment apps during the lockdown, the overall flow of tangible money in the country experienced an unprecedented disruption. Now, officials are telling Congress that banks are reporting lower than usual averages of weekly coin deposits.
"What's happened is, with the partial closure of the economy, the flow of coins through the economy has … kind of stopped. The places where you'd go to give your coins and get credit … those have not been working," Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman, told Congress on June 17. "So, a whole system of flow has kind of come to a stop. We're well aware of this … And as the economy reopens, we're seeing coins begin to move around again."
The closure of commerce across the country affected millions, but it hit restaurants, bars, and convenience stores particularly hard. As these businesses stopped making their normal weekly deposits, the regular cycle of cash and coin flow was interrupted and has yet to pick up full steam again.
According to Fox News, the Federal Reserve reports that they are working closely with the U.S. Mint and the 12 district reserve banks to spot check coin shortages and will be boosting circulation where necessary to correct the disruption.
The news of a national shortage of quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies wasn't the only bad news Powell had for lawmakers, however: On Tuesday, he also warned the Senate Banking Committee of "significant uncertainty" about the country's economic recovery and the effect it will have on small businesses, CNBC reports. And for more on how you should be spending the money you do have, check out This Is the Only Way You Should Be Handling Money, According to the CDC.