U.S. Postal Service Money Woes

The money crunch is hitting the U.S.P.S. big time. The Postal Service lost $6 billion in the last fiscal year, despite earning $68 billion in revenue. The loss is less than expected but is still up significantly from the $3.8 billion loss suffered in FY2009. Why is the post office losing money? There are a number of factors, including the following:

1. Mail volume is down 20% because of the economy and more people using the internet to pay bills, send notes, etc. In fact, the U.S.P.S. carried 170 billion pieces of mail last year, down about 7 billion from the year before.

2. USPS had to pay a required $5.5 billion contribution to a fund for future retirees.

In addition, regulators just denied a request for a 2-cent stamp increase next year. That means first-class stamps will remain at 44-cents each. Final revenue and mail volume figures for the fiscal year will be released later this fall.

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