Postal Regulatory Commission denies 'exigent' rate increases

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The Postal Regulatory Commission this morning unanimously denied the US Postal Service's request to enact “exigent” price increases in 2011. The regulatory body said the USPS failed to justify an average 5.6% rate increase.

After the financially struggling USPS unveiled its proposed increases, which would have exceeded the inflation-based price cap for next year, direct marketing and mailing industry trade groups immediately began to fight the price increase.

The USPS' 10-year plan to return to profitability also includes a reduction in home delivery to five days per week, aggressive cost-cutting, new products and regulatory reform. The Postal Service saw a net loss of nearly $1.6 billion in August, and a $7.7 billion net loss for the first 11 months of its 2010 fiscal year.

Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) introduced a bill September 23 that would allow the USPS to reduce the number of its home delivery days, close unnecessary post offices and open retail outlets or automated kiosks in grocery stores and other retail areas.

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