It seems the nationwide coin shortage, due to Covid-19, that’s being reported at fast food places, groceries, banks and other businesses has made its way to Natchitoches.
One reader informed the NPJ that this was an issue at the GameStop in Natchitoches and another submitted a photo of a sign posted at the local Raising Cane’s location.
It’s apparently serious enough that the federal government established a US Coin Task Force in June to “mitigate the effects of low coin inventories caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
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.
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.
The Federal Reserve is working on several fronts to mitigate the effects of low coin inventories. This includes managing the allocation of existing inventories, working with the Mint to minimize coin supply constraints and maximize coin production capacity, and encouraging depository institutions to order only the coin they need to meet near‐term customer demand. Depository institutions also can help replenish inventories by removing barriers to consumer deposits of loose and rolled coins. Although the Federal Reserve is confident that the coin inventory issues will resolve once the economy opens more broadly and the coin supply chain returns to normal circulation patterns, we recognize that these measures alone will not be enough to resolve near‐term issues.