The pace of circulating coin production continued to slide in the month of April.
Only 878,740,000 pieces came off the presses of the Philadelphia and Denver Mints combined.
Each month in calendar year 2018, coin production dropped from the month before.
If we annualize this four months of coin production to 12 months, the Mint would strike 13,349,142,000 pieces in 2018.
That looks like a large figure, but it would be a 10.2 percent reduction from calendar year 2017.
Sliding coinage numbers is not the usual pattern in a growing economy.
In my April 24 blog, I pointed out that the peak coin production year of the current economic growth cycle was 2015, when 17,046,700,000 coins were struck for circulation.
The banking crisis of 2008 caused 2009 coin output to plunge to roughly 3.5 billion, the lowest since the late 1950s.
But the trend of annual increases in coin output each year thereafter went into reverse.
The 2016 output of 16,017,410,000 was 6 percent fewer than 2015.
The 2017 production of 14,859,360,000 was 7 percent lower than 2016.
One conclusion that can be drawn from the trend is more Americans are reducing or abandoning their use of cash.
Another is that even with these shrinking numbers, there are still enough coins being struck to prevent any from becoming scarce and valuable.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
More Collecting Resources
• Subscribe to our monthly Coins magazine - a great resource for any collector!
• With over 25,000 listings and 15,500 illustrations, the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues is your go-to guide for modern bank notes.