Postal Service could increase prices

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Postal Service will likely default on $6.9 billion in payments, for the fifth straight year. The money is for future retiree health benefits.

The post office says the cash balance is expected to run low by October. This cash crunch could disrupt day-to-day mail delivery.

An urgent need for federal regulators to grant the Postal Service wide freedom to increase stamp prices to cover the costs has been stressed by Postmaster General Megan Brennan.

She points to continuing red ink due to declining first-class mail volume and the expensive mandates for retiree benefits.

On Thursday, the Postal Service reported a quarterly loss of $2.1 billion, compared to a $1.6 billion loss in the same period last year. This is the despite double-digit growth in package delivery.