Powell says Fed working to relieve coin shortage in U.S. economy

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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell took a question Wednesday about something that doesn’t come up very often in congressional hearings about monetary policy: coinage.

Representative John Rose, the Tennessee Republican, asked Powell if he was aware of the shortage of coins caused by the pandemic that he was hearing about from banks in his district.

“With the partial closure of the economy, the flow of coins through the economy has gotten all -- it’s kind of stopped,” Powell said, during the hearing before the House Financial Services Committee.

“The places where you go to give your coins, and get credit at the store and get cash -- you know, folding money -- those have not been working. Stores have been closed. So the whole system has kind of, had come to a stop,” he said. “We’re well aware of this. We’re working with the Mint and we’re working with the reserve banks, and as the economy reopens, we’re seeing coins begin to move around again.”

Powell said he believed the shortage would prove only temporary.

Bloomberg News
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