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Postal Service sees $1.6 billion August loss

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Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Postal Service is closing in on its biggest money-losing year in history, reporting a net loss of $1.57 billion for August and a loss of $7.7 billion for the first 11 months of its fiscal year, ending Sept. 30.

Last month’s net loss more than doubled the $721 million the Postal Service lost in the year-earlier period. First-class mail volume slumped 6.4%, to 5.99 billion pieces, and first-class revenue dropped 7%, to $2.60 billion, as customers turn increasingly to digital forms of communications.

Periodical mailings also contributed to the Postal Service’s loss, with volume off by 7.4% year over year, to 571 million pieces, and revenue down 5.5%, to $149 million.

Commercial direct mail remains the Postal Service’s one bright spot, continuing a months-long trend. Standard-mail volume increased a robust 11% in August versus the same month in 2009, to 6.95 billion pieces, with revenue up 9.8% during the month, to $1.46 billion.

While overall mail volume rose slightly during the month thanks to strong commercial mailings, and revenue was about flat compared with last year’s period, the Postal Service still struggles with overhead, with staff compensation and benefits rising 17% during the month to $5.57 billion.

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