One of the latest oddball issues to develop out of the COVID-19 virus outbreak is the new national coin shortage.  Not enough pennies, nickels, and quarters are working their way through the economy. It’s enough of an issue that at least some Meijer stores in the area are reducing the use and availability of cash at their stores beginning today. Notices are posted near the self -checkout lanes indicating, “…due to national coin shortage, self-checkout registers are electronic payment only.” The notices also mention that customers should see a Meijer team member for options if you need to pay with cash.  Meijer has not yet released a related statement on its website or Facebook page.

The Washington Post was among the first notable media outlets to begin reporting on the situation.  It got information from Republican Congressman John Rose who reported some banks in his district were asking his office about shortages in their weekly coin deliveries.  The Federal Reserve about that same time issued a notice to banks about a pending reduction in the supply of coins. The Fed reported production of new coins has fallen off significantly since the U.S. Mint has put a number of strict COVID-19 protection measures in place for employees.  The Fed also reported con deposits from commercial and community banks and credit unions have dropped noticeably. The Fed did however indicate it was working with the U.S. Mint to get production stabilized.

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