US Post Office losing more than $1 billion a month in 2012

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe speaks in Washington about the state of the U.S. Postal Service.

The U.S. Postal Service said its loss widened to $3.2 billion in the first three months of 2012 and repeated on Thursday its warning that it will likely default on payments to the federal government unless Congress passes legislation offering some relief.

The agency, which does not receive taxpayer funds and has been losing billions each year as Americans communicate online, said it lost $2.2 billion in the same period in 2011.

Much of the loss came from setting aside funds for future retiree health benefits, which is required by law. Mail volume fell 4.1 percent to 39.5 billion pieces from a year ago, according to a statement.

“We are aggressively pursuing new revenue streams and reducing costs in areas within our control,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement. “These actions are not enough to return the Postal Service to profitability.”

The Postal Service said operating revenue was $16.2 billion, down about $7 million from the same quarter of 2011. But operating costs rose about 5 percent, in part because the agency is setting aside more for the retiree health benefit payments after failing to make last year’s payment on time.

The agency also saw an 8.1 percent increase in transportation expenses from a year earlier due to rising fuel costs.

Shipping business continued to grow and revenues related to shipping and packages rose 13 percent from the previous year, USPS said.

But that growth could not outweigh losses in both first-class and standard mail. The Postal Service said spending by advertisers fell as businesses more selectively targeted mailings or turned to electronic alternatives.

USPS Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett warned that without action from Congress the agency would likely default on the retiree health payments due later this year and could fail to make other payments to the federal government.

The agency wants Congress to eliminate the prefunding payment, let it tap into a retirement fund surplus, end Saturday mail delivery, and make other controversial changes.

The Senate passed bipartisan legislation last month that would allow the Postal Service to use the retirement-fund surplus to offer retirement incentives to workers and would restructure the health benefits payments.

But the House of Representatives has yet to schedule a vote on the legislation.

The Postal Service has attempted to make its own cost cuts despite opposition from some lawmakers. The agency walked back on a plan to close thousands of small facilities, announcing on Wednesday it would instead reduce operating hours at 13,000 low-traffic post offices.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…