The US Postal Service released its unaudited financial results for February yesterday, and they continue to show a modest loss from operations combined with massive “paper” losses due to Congress’s PAEA accounting requirements.
The USPS had controllable expenses of $5.141 billion in February, against revenue of $5.129 billion, for a $12 million loss from actual operations. With five months of the fiscal year gone, that brings the year to date loss to $102 million- which still sounds like a lot of money until you recall that it’s less than one half of one percent of total revenue. Hardly the “massive hemorrhaging” that newspaper reporters and right wing politicians love to tell us about.
For that you need the help of Congress. When you add in the charges required by the 2006 PAEA law, the February “loss” balloons to $838 million, and the year to date to $2.5 billion. Those, of course, are the numbers you’ll see in the mainstream media. What you probably won’t see is any mention of the fact that the additional “losses” exist only on paper (and in the minds of cynical politicians and bureaucrats).
Mail volume continued to decline, with first class down 5.8% from the same period last year, standard down by 2.3%, and package services down by 17%.
Actual personnel expenses (excluding PAEA) were down by 4.3% for the month, while non-personnel costs dropped by 2.7%.