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Late last week, the Postal Service (USPS) filed its Annual Compliance Report (ACR) for 2023 with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) requires that USPS publish a report within 90 days of the conclusion of the fiscal year to demonstrate compliance with various provisions of PAEA e.g. the requirement that products cover their costs.

One of the library references accompanying the ACR is the Postal Service’s Annual Report to Congress. It is a handy and much more accessible summary of the year’s performance than the ACR and it includes the Postal Service’s Total Factor Productivity (TFP) performance for 2023. For the year, TFP declined by 4 percent; the worst single year decline since the measure began in 1963.  The previous record was 2.1 percent in 1979, but that was on the heels of two years of very strong productivity growth and coincided with an oil crisis that precipitated a severe recession. In 2023 the US economy greatly outperformed expectations and the TFP decline in 2023 continues an unfortunate trend; the overall decline in TFP since 2019 is the largest in any four-year period ever.

PostCom Bulletin / USPS Annual Compliance Report