Looming Postal Service default shakes mailers' confidence
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Postal Service is set this week to default on a giant payment, the latest blow illustrating Congress' slow progress toward fixing the agency's deep financial woes and one that could damage some customers' confidence.
The Postal Service has said for months that it could not afford to make the $5.5 billion payment for future retiree health benefits, which was originally due in 2011 but was delayed by Congress until August 1.
The mail agency, which relies on sales of stamps and other products rather than taxpayer funds, has said the same about a second payment due at the end of the fiscal year in September.
Congress has so far made no significant push to delay the payment again. Missing the health pre-payment, the first default in the agency's history, would not cause interruptions in service or prevent the Postal Service from paying suppliers and employees, USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said in an email.
But trade groups, mailing industry lobbyists and some business owners said the approaching default raises questions about the Postal Service's financial stability and Congress's commitment to helping remedy the agency's money woes.http://news.yahoo.com/looming-postal-default-shakes-mailers-confidence-145522093--sector.html