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Economist explains 'coin shortage'

Dr. Ray Perryman, President for The Perryman Group, said when new forms of payment come to be, the old ways are used less, but that doesn't mean there is a shortage.

ODESSA, Texas — The COVID-19 pandemic has shaped everything in our daily lives from how we work, to how we are educated and even how we shop. That is why when you go shopping you probably use cards over cash, or you may even use your phone.

If you still pay cash, you might have trouble getting change. Coins are hard to come by and places like grocery stores, banks and restaurants may not be able to provide you with change. So is there a coin shortage?

NewsWest 9 spoke with Ray Perryman, President and Economist for the Perryman Group.  He said history repeats itself because when new forms of payment come to be, the old ways are used less and less, but that does not mean there is a shortage.

"Technology has improved the way we spend money, the efficiency of moving money back and forth," said Perryman. "Obviously, it started when we got paper currency, then from there we went to checking accounts and it made a big difference. Credit card and debit cards gave us the ability to buy things online. Now we have things like PayPal."

Perryman believes the developments in technology play a big role in the way people pay for items. He said there are still new ways of payment to come.

"We have seen a continuing trend of a lower and lower percentage of total transactions handled with currency of coins and that has been going on for a very, very long time," said Perryman. "Now with the crypto currencies they are allowing folks to do things they couldn't do before, and that does not replace our old currency system."

Perryman said people should not worry  about a "coin shortage" and instead enjoy the benefits of money going around.

"The amount of coin and currency in circulation today has very little to do with the overall quantity of money that circulates the economy," said Perryman. "Literally trillions of dollars move through the economic universe every day in our global economy."

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