Federal Eye: Postal Service anticipates $6 billion year-end loss

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Friday, October 1, 2010; 12:19 PM

The U.S. Postal Service is anticipating a $6 billion loss for the fiscal year that ended Thursday, as mail volume continued its precipitous decline.

USPS delivered about 170 billion pieces of mail in fiscal 2010, down by 7 billion pieces from 2009, Postmaster General John E. Potter said Thursday.

But preliminary figures show that the Postal Service earned about $68 billion in revenues, on par with 2009, Potter said. Final revenue and volume numbers will be released later this fall, he said.

"We've been working hard," Potter said. Growing strength in the financial industry and increases in advertising mailings have generated more revenue than anticipated this year, he said.

The bad numbers cap a difficult week for the Postal Service, which failed to earn regulator approval to raise stamp prices in January by 2 cents. Lawmakers also declined to grant a reprieve from a $5.5 billion payment to prefund USPS retiree health benefits.

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