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Despite increasing volume, charging more for shipping, USPS loses $2B in spring quarter

| Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, 7:54 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service lost $2 billion this spring despite increasing its volume and charging consumers more money to send mail, officials said on Monday.

The loss for the spring quarter, which ended June 30, was significantly higher than the $740 million loss for the same three-month period last year. The agency blamed increases in compensation and benefit costs for the red ink, and said it would be unable to make a congressionally mandated payment of $5.7 billion this September for health benefits for future retirees. The loss occurred despite a 2 percent increase in operating revenue compared to last spring.

Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, says it would be “irresponsible to degrade services to Americans and their businesses” just as postal delivery is rebounding with the economy. Because more people shop online, “the Internet is now a net positive for USPS, auguring well for the future as e-commerce grows.”

Other findings from the latest quarterly report compared to the same time period last year:

•Shipping and package revenue was up 6.6 percent, while standard mail revenue increased 5.1 percent. The increase was attributed both to higher volume and prices charged to consumers.

•First-Class mail volume declined by 1.4 percent, but revenue climbed 3.2 percent because of price increases.

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