The US Postal Service reported a $1.6 billion loss in April, bringing the year to date loss to $8 billion. Almost the entire FY 2012 loss, however, exists only on paper: $7.1 billion represents seven months worth of the PAEA “trust fund” payments Congress imposed in 2006, while $569 million is a non-cash item reflecting “discount and inflation rate changes” on future workers comp liabilities. None of the $7.1 billion in “trust fund” payments have actually been made- and the USPS doesn’t intend to make them.
The “real” loss, reflecting actual revenue and expenses, stands at $275 million.
Phony loss numbers aside, the report does provide plenty of cause for concern however. Both first class and standard mail volumes continue to decline at an alarming rate- first class was down 7.1% from last April, while standard volumes dropped by almost six percent. Overall volume was down 6% for the month, 5.2% for the year to date.