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Canada Eliminates Penny Costing Penny-and-a-Half to Make

Canada will withdraw the penny from circulation this year, saving taxpayers about C$11 million ($11 million) annually and forcing retailers to round prices to the nearest nickel, the government announced in its budget today.

The Royal Canadian Mint, which has produced 35 billion pennies since it began production in 1908, will cease distribution this fall due to the coin’s low purchasing power. Production and handling cost for the one-cent coin are a C$150-million drag on the economy, according to a 2006 study by Desjardins, a Levis, Quebec-based financial institution.