Postal Service Suffers Record $15.9B Loss

Organization could be out of cash in a year
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2012 1:43 AM CST
Postal Service Suffers Record $15.9B Loss
In this Dec. 5, 2011 file photo, mail is loaded into bins for transport at the Capitol Station in Springfield, Ill.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

The struggling US Postal Service has posted a record loss of $15.9 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The agency defaulted this year on $11.1 billion in health benefits for retirees, and it's suffering as first-class mail, its top source of revenue, falls off, the Wall Street Journal reports. The USPS could run out of cash in a year if lawmakers don't do something, officials say. (But it thinks it will have enough cash to make it til next fall thanks to record volumes of election-theme material and an expected 20% revenue bump due to holiday shipping.)

"If Congress fails to act, there could be postal slowdowns or shutdowns that would have catastrophic consequences"—not just for the Postal Service itself, but for businesses that depend on it, says the head of an advocacy group. (Read more US Postal Service stories.)

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