Postal Service sees some stability amid May losses

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Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Postal Service reported a net loss in May of $642 million, slightly better than the $677 million it lost in the same month last year.

Year-to-date through the first eight months of its fiscal year, the USPS had a net loss of $2.91 billion, compared with a $3.35 billion loss for the same period last year.

First-class mail volume and revenue continue to slide, as consumers and businesses increasingly use electronic forms of communications. First-class mail volume totaled 6.08 billion pieces in May, down 6.0% from the 6.49 billion pieces mailed in May 2009. Periodicals mailings declined 5.8% to 587 million pieces, from 623 million in the year-earlier period.

Standard mail—used most often for commercial direct mail—continued to experience a now-months-long rebound, with volume hitting 6.38 billion pieces in May, 5.6% higher than the 6.04 billion pieces mailed in May 2009. Standard mail revenue in May rose to $1.34 billion from $1.28 billion in the year-earlier period.

Combined with shipping service volume and revenue increases for May, the USPS reported a tenth of a percent increase in total sales for the month, to $5.27 billion.

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