Despite an average 4.6 percent rate increase instituted during the month, the U.S. Postal Service's financials were better than expected for January.
The preliminary report, released this week, found that from Dec. 30 to Jan. 26, net income totaled $26.2 million, or $67.9 million better than plan.
The agency's total revenues for the period were $5.229 billion, slightly better than the planned $5.195 billion. Expenses, which were $5.202 billion, were slightly lower than the planned $5.237 billion.
Mail volumes increased last month over January 2000 as well. First-Class mail increased 5.8 percent over the same period last year, and Standard Mail increased 0.6 percent. Total mail volume increased 3.2 percent.
Experts say the reason for the better-than-expected numbers is that “people may have done more mailing before the rate increase went up,” said Alan Robinson, president of Direct Communications Group, Silver Spring, MD, a consulting firm that focuses on the postal and parcel market. “It also may have something to do with the fact that people are sending out their end-of-the-year statements during this period.”