Coin shortage again impacts local retailers

Remember the coronavirus coin shortage of 2020? Well it’s back!

If you’ve been grocery shopping any other way but online lately, you will find that paying with cash and getting coin change back is not quite so easy again. Talk of another coin shortage began surfacing a couple of months ago and it has now hit the local area. Retailers such as Kroger and Walmart are not able to make the correct change for customers paying with cash. Cards are encouraged and, in some instances, there is just no ability for anybody to pay with cash.

Kroger in Loganville has a sign up that reads, “The Federal Reserve is currently experiencing a coin shortage. Please consider rounding up for Zero Hunger / Zero Waste or use exact change or another form of payment. Due to the shortage, coin change from cash transactions will be applied to your Shopper’s Card for future purchases.”

So what is the reason? Well, it is still COVID-19.

According to the Federal Reserve, although there currently is an adequate amount of coins in the economy, business and bank closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted normal circulation patterns for U.S. coins. This slowed the circulation pace in the country during 2020 and reduced available inventories. A cap that was placed on depository institution orders in June 2020 to ensure fair distribution has now been reinstated.

“The Federal Reserve continues to work with the U.S. Mint and others in the industry to keep coins circulating,” the Federal Reserve noted in a press release, adding that a cap was reinstated in May 2021. “We continue to closely monitor orders and deposits from depository institutions as well as U.S. Mint production. The U.S. Coin Task Force, which was formed in July 2020 to identify, implement, and promote actions to address disruptions to coin circulation, continues to meet regularly until coin circulation normalizes.”

So you may keep the coin shortage in mind next time you head to the grocery story, especially if you’re traditionally a cash shopper.

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