WASHINGTON May 9 The United States Postal
Service ended its second quarter with a net loss of $1.9
billion, as first-class mail volumes continued to tumble and the
government was unable to provide relief, the agency said on
Its net loss for the fiscal second quarter ended March 31
surpassed the first-quarter's loss of $354 million, but it
remained flat from the year-ago quarter. It was the 20th of the
last 22 quarters that the agency has posted a loss, USPS said.
The Postal Service's most profitable product, first-class
mail, fell by 4.1 percent in the second quarter as more
Americans opted to communicate and pay bills via the Internet.
Liabilities totaling $64 billion exceeded current assets by
$42 billion, adding to its dire financial situation, the agency
said in a statement.
In the meantime, its shipping and packaging business
remained a bright spot.
The agency, which has leveraged the growth in e-commerce,
saw its shipping and packaging volumes grow by 7.3 percent as
more people shopped online and needed carriers to deliver their
The Postal Service is also still struggling under the weight
of heavy mandatory payments into its future retirees' health
fund, which was required by Congress in 2006.
The mail carrier has sought legislative relief to allow it
to modernize its business service offerings, restructure the
retiree payments, and shift to a five-day mail delivery service.
But Congress has for years remained gridlocked on postal
reforms, partly by pressure from the mailing industry to
maintain the status quo as well as some lawmakers' reluctance to
see postal services cut back in their districts.
The mail agency, which does not rely on taxpayer funds, has
said it could require a massive taxpayer-funded bailout in
excess of $50 billion by 2017 if Congress fails to act.
(Reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; editing by Susan Heavey and