Americans are hoarding cash as recession fears grow

As stocks plunge and the US economy hurtles into recession, at least one thing is on the upswing: Cash. Americans are piling it up in their bank accounts and may be squirreling away some notes under the mattress, too.

As coronavirus concerns grow, the amount of physical cash in circulation has risen, jumping 1.8% during the week that ended March 25, increasing to $1.86 trillion in absolute terms. It was the biggest weekly rise since December 1999. As JP Koning noted on the Moneyness blog, that was during the Y2K bug frenzy, when people were worried that computer systems would malfunction when dates rolled over in the new millennium.

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