USPS YTD loss now $4.7 billion- $4 billion of it thanks to Congressional mandates, not operations

The US Postal Service filed its unaudited May financial results late yesterday, showing a loss of $1.3 billion for the month, most of it caused by Congressionally mandated “trust fund” payments and non-cash adjustments to the future value of workers comp liabilities. (Note: although the PMG has said the the USPS will be unable to actually hand over the trust fund payment in September, it still needs to recognize it as a monthly debit on its balance sheet).

Without Congress’s mandates, the USPS would show a loss for the month of $434 million, and for the year to date, $589 million. Without those mandates, the USPS would also be virtually debt free- but that would remove the “need” to place the service in receivership, as proposed by Republicans in Congress.

Looking at the real operational numbers, the picture is hardly rosy. First class mail volume continues to run at about 7% below the same period last year (SPLY). After 8 months of the current fiscal year, the USPS has processed 3.7 billion fewer first class pieces than in SPLY. That represents a revenue drop of $1.6 billion. While standard mail volume is 4.3% above SPLY YTD, that produces a revenue increase of just $426 million.

Bottom line revenue year to date is now $44.7 billion, down from $46 billion at this point last year. Meanwhile total expenses (including Congress’s mandates) are $49.4 billion, up slightly from a year ago.

The USPS has managed to lower employee workhours to match the decline in revenue- both are down 2.8% year to date. But that hasn’t translated to a equivalent drop in total expenses, which actually rose by 1%. Salaries and benefits are down only slightly (-0.8% YTD), while non-personnel costs jumped 4.7%, largely driven by higher fuel costs.

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  • Reagen

    5 day the only way.

  • james

    why is the 5-day the only way.if you over pay a debt, you either receive a credit or your over payment is refunded.congress created this problem in 2006 when the gop republicans own the house and senate.pmg potter said in testimony that if they received there over payment back,there would be no need to go to a 5-day delivery and this would help save the postal service biggest problem.Potter even lied about the postal numbers.this is what you do when you have an hidden agenda.

  • Proud Product of the USA

    The communities across this great nation are actually the ones that pay these mandates that the GOP mandated and now they want to close their Post Offices per Issa’s recommendations and eliminate their Saturday service. Wow, unbelievable. When will the insanity stop?

  • milton

    they all want to privatize everything because as they think business can do it better, how is that plan to privatize social security going, want you money in the stock market instead of guaranteed, same thing with the postal service, fed ex and ups won’t deliver to the middle of arkansas for the same rate as new york city, the mandate is the answer. it is a service not a commodity that is provided.

  • milton

    with the postal service, fed ex and ups won’t deliver to the middle of arkansas for the same rate as new york city, the mandate is the answer. it is a service not a commodity that is provided.

  • WILLIAM

    EVERY WEB SITE BASED IN THE U.S. SHOULD HAVE A HARD COPY ADDRESS REGISTERED WITH U.S.P.S..THE ADDRESS CAN BE POSTED ON THE WEBSITE.THIS WILL GIVE CONSUMERS CONFIDENCE IN DEALINGS DONE ON LINE..U.S.P.S. CAN CHARGE A REASONABLE FEE FOR REGISTRATION,GENERATING SOME REVENUE.ANY FRAUD CAN BE PROSECUTED UNDER NEW POSTAL LAWS REGARDING ON LINE COMMERCE AND MOBILE COMMERCE CAN ALSO BE INCLUDED.THAT’S ALL,WE NEED MORE CONFIDENCE IN ON LINE COMMERCE ,U.S.P.S CAN EASILY VERIFY A HARD COPY ADDRESS.