The Postal Service’s board of governors is meeting early next month to discuss, among other things, the financial results from the second quarter of 2009. There’s not much optimism about the numbers, considering USPS lost $384 million in the first quarter, which is traditionally the strongest of the year.
Another bad sign: UPS’ earnings report. The shipping giant said its first-quarter earnings were down by 56 percent, and it expects the second quarter to be worse than previously expected.
It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison between UPS and the Postal Service. UPS is a huge multinational corporation. And its products are more vulnerable to a downturn in the economy: Your bank still mails you statements during a recession, but you probably don’t order as many packages from Amazon.com.
Nonetheless: not a good sign for USPS.
On a related note, there’s still been no action on H.R. 22, the bill that would give the Postal Service some needed relief from its future retiree health benefit obligations. The bill has been in limbo before a House committee for two months.