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USPS finances

Year-end results reported

Letter carrier handles mail inside delivery vehicle
Bethesda, MD, Letter Carrier Evan Pratama gets ready to deliver mail and packages during fiscal 2017.

The Postal Service has reported its financial results for fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016-Sept. 30, 2017). Here are some highlights:

• Total revenue. The organization reported total revenue of $69.6 billion, a decrease of $1.8 billion compared to the prior year. The lower revenues were driven largely by accelerated declines in First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail volumes.

• Mail volumes. Mail volumes during fiscal 2017 declined by approximately 5 billion pieces, or 3.6 percent, while package volumes grew by 589 million pieces, or 11.4 percent, compared to the prior year. Despite the growth in package volume, overall volume declined by 4.9 billion pieces.

• Shipping. Shipping and packages revenue increased $2.1 billion, or 11.8 percent, compared to the prior year. However, this growth was offset by other factors, including the decline in mail volumes during fiscal 2017 as well as a one-time change in accounting estimate that affected 2016 revenue, and the expiration of the exigent surcharge, a temporary price increase that was in place from January 2014-April 2016.

• Net loss. The Postal Service reported a net loss of $2.7 billion, a decrease in net loss of $2.8 billion compared to 2016. Of this decline in net loss, $2.4 billion was the result of changes in interest rates, outside of management’s control, that reduced workers’ compensation expense compared to last year.

“Our financial situation is serious, though solvable,” said PMG Megan J. Brennan. “There is a path to profitability and long-term financial stability. We are taking actions to control costs and compete effectively for revenues in addition to legislative and regulatory reform. We continue to optimize our network, enhance our products and services, and invest to better serve the American public.”

The PMG said the organization’s future financial stability also requires urgent actions outside of the Postal Service’s control. These actions include enactment of postal reform legislation and the adoption by the Postal Regulatory Commission of a new pricing system as part of a 10-year review that will allow USPS to generate sufficient revenues to cover its costs.

For more information about the fiscal 2017 year-end financial results, read the Postal Service’s Nov. 14 news release.

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