Postal Service: Red ink for 11th year in row as mail slumps

WASHINGTON (AP) — The beleaguered U.S. Postal Service reported a monetary loss Tuesday for the eleventh straight yr, citing declining mail quantity and prices of its pension and well being care obligations even because it predicted one other robust vacation season of package deal deliveries.

It pleaded for extra freedom to boost stamp costs to assist maintain tempo with shopper demand for ever-faster deliveries from on-line purchasing.

With out assist, “our monetary outcomes will proceed to deteriorate and certain at an accelerated fee,” stated Postmaster Common Megan J. Brennan. “We can’t generate sufficient income or reduce sufficient prices to pay all of our payments.”

The Postal Service reported a lack of $2.7 billion for the fiscal yr that ended Sept. 30. That was higher than a $5.6 billion loss within the prior yr however was primarily as a result of fluctuations in rates of interest that lowered staff’ compensation bills.

The 2017 loss got here after a double-digit improve in package deal supply was unable to offset drop-offs in letter mail, which makes up greater than 70 % of complete postal income. Mail quantity fell by roughly 5 billion items, or three.6 %, as individuals within the digital age rely extra on e mail for on-line invoice funds.

Income got here to $sixty nine.6 billion, down from $seventy one.5 billion final yr.

The Postal Regulatory Fee will problem a choice within the coming weeks that would give the Postal Service extra flexibility to boost costs past the speed of inflation, marking the most important change in its pricing system in almost a half-century. The fee may restrict how excessive costs might go, however the price of a primary-class stamp might leap. It’s not recognized by how a lot.

The worth of a primary-class stamp, now forty nine cents, is slated to extend by one penny in January due to inflation.

The Postal Service, an unbiased company, is making an attempt to remain financially afloat because it seeks to take a position billions in new supply vans to get packages extra nimbly to American houses.

With the vacation season approaching, Brennan stated, the Postal Service added hours to incorporate early morning and night package deal deliveries and was increasing service on Sundays. Extra just lately, it started a pilot program this vacation season to offer low cost subsequent-day service with packages delivered Sundays to individuals’s houses.

“The Postal Service continues to win e-commerce clients, develop our package deal supply enterprise and improve market share,” Brennan stated, attributing its power partially to reasonably priced pricing in comparison with…

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