The Penny's Economic Importance

Consumers benefit with a low denomination coin. Moreover, faith in the strength of the economy and the nation is tied to perceptions about the currency system, and public acceptance is an important criterion for evaluating currency and coinage changes.

Proposals to eliminate the penny and move to the nickel as the lowest denomination coin create public anxiety about higher prices and inflation. Over three-quarters of Americans (77%) are concerned merchants would raise prices without the penny. And they're probably right. Raymond Lombra, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Penn State University, told a Congressional committee that rounding cash sales up or down to the nearest nickel would cost consumers over $600 million annually.

Some proponents of penny elimination may say the coin's demise would not even be noticed.  But removal of the cent is a concern, if only as a symbol of inflation.  If prices rise, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rises which, in turn, triggers further rises in many public and private sector costs which are tied formally or informally to the CPI. The Wall Street Journal has said eliminating the penny would "wave a symbolic white flag before the forces of inflation." They likened taking the penny out of circulation to actions taking by third world countries to degrade their currencies and create hyper inflation.

Approximately six in ten Americans (59%) think eliminating the penny would cause confusion when purchasing items.  A system of rounding would be regressive and hurt those least able to afford it because they make more small cash purchases.  And the current coinage mix should be maintained as long as it meets individual consumer preferences.

Other items of interest:


President's Day - A Time to Celebrate Abraham Lincoln and Cheaper Pennies

President's Day gives us the chance - at least once a year - to recognize Abraham Lincoln's immense contributions to the country and a legacy that continues to enrich us daily.

President Lincoln is a unique cultural and historical figure," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents. "It's not just that the front of the penny has had Lincoln's image since 1909, it's what Lincoln did for our nation," Weller added "He possessed all the qualities we want in a president -- the ability to unite a divided nation, honesty, strength, and humility," Weller concluded.

For the full press release, please click here


Special Announcement!

Pennies for Pasta and Pennies for Patients

These are run by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through its local chapters as part of its renamed Student Series program:

For more information, you should call your local Chapter which may be found by going to the Society's website at:

Please note Americans for Common Cents does not get actively engaged in any fundraising activities.

Collapse of the zinc market means the penny is cheaper to make; saves taxpayers!

A collapse in metals prices means U.S. coins, including the penny, are less expensive to make. The penny has reached its lowest cost in seven years. Each 1-cent coin, made almost entirely of zinc, now costs the taxpayer much less to produce and its likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Click here to read more.

More than Two-Thirds of Americans Still Favor Keeping the Penny

Recent Poll Shows Increasing Penny Support and Concern About Price Increases If Penny Is Eliminated

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A poll released today by Americans for Common Cents (ACC) continues to show overwhelming and increasing support for the penny by the American public. 68% of those surveyed favor keeping the penny in circulation, representing a slight increase since the last poll in 2012.

"These results confirm the strong and unwavering support the penny continues to receive from Americans," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of ACC. Weller's group includes more than 50 organizations that support continued production of the penny.

For the full article, please click here

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