Wednesday, November 16, 2011

U.S. Postal Service Reports a $5.1 Billion Loss

The U.S. Postal Service lost $5.1 billion last year, but that number would have been about $10 billion in the fiscal year that ended in September if Congress hadn’t acted. Lawmakers postponed about $5.5 billion in USPS annual payments to prefund retiree health benefits. Legislators haven’t said yet whether the Postal Service will need to make the payment after the current short-term spending measure expires Friday.

Mail volume dropped to about 168 billion pieces delivered, a decline of 3 billion pieces from the previous year. Deliveries of first-class mail dropped 6 percent.

Total operating revenue reached $65.7 billion, about $2 billion less than the previous year; operating expenses decreased by about $5 billion, to $70.6 billion.

Postal officials said Tuesday that they expect operating revenue to drop to about $64 billion this year.
USPS also delivered some good news: Revenue for Priority Mail and Express jumped $530 million
last year, or 6 percent.

The increases came as more customers used the Internet to purchase and ship products. Standard Mail, normally used to deliver solicitations and catalogs, generated $495 million in revenue, a 2.9 percent jump. (Wash Post, 11/16/2011)

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