Coin production is going up in 2012.
That might be a big deal for anyone looking for good economic news.
A growing economy cannot function without the money the public wants to use to conduct the transactions that comprise their daily lives.
The public is demanding more coins for next year, according to Deputy Mint Director Richard Peterson whose news conference Aug. 19 at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, offered up the information that the Federal Reserve has ordered 9.8 billion coins for the next 12 months.
One of the Fed’s jobs is to supply coins to the nation’s banking system. The Mint’s job is to supply the Fed.
This Fed order continues an upward trend that began after the Mint’s output plunged to 1950s levels in 2009.
In that terrible year the Mint struck just 3.5 billion coins.
In 2010 the Mint struck 6.4 billion coins.
This calendar year looks to be on track for 8.5 billion coins.
Of course, the rate of increase is slowing down. That sequence shows gains of 79.6 percent, 33.0 percent and 15.6 percent.
Up, up and up.
If only the stock market could string three up years in a row like that, the nation’s investors wouldn’t be feeling the need for finding a financial bunker.
As a small caveat, the U.S. Mint thinks in fiscal years and collectors think in calendar years. I am writing these from the collector point of view, so there will be some variation as the 2011 and 2012 numbers become set in concrete.
But the upward trend is clear and this affects more than just collectors.