Money & Company

Tracking the market and economic trends
that shape your finances.

« Previous Post | Money & Company Home | Next Post »

Consumer Confidential: Slower mail, cyber sales, bad brakes

December 5, 2011 | 10:36 am

Here's your more-than-a-woman Monday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Here's the latest bid by the U.S. Postal Service to cut its losses: slower mail. The Postal Service, which is trying to cut $20 billion in operating costs by 2015, is asking the Postal Regulatory Commission to let it relax delivery standards for first-class mail, which includes letters and bills. Slowing mail delivery would reduce the number of mail-processing plants the Postal Service needs. The service said in September that it was considering loosening delivery standards and closing 252, or more than half, of its mail-processing plants. The agency said last month it expects a $14.1-billion loss in 2012 as mail volume continues to drop. (Bloomberg)

--Clearly, we like shopping online. Purchases reached nearly $6 billion for the "Cyber Week" that runs from the Sunday before Cyber Monday through Dec. 2, according to the latest data from ComScore. The big drivers of the bountiful Cyber Week were three of the four heaviest online spending days in history, each of which posted sales in excess of $1 billion: Cyber Monday, the heaviest online spending day on record at $1.25 billion; Tuesday, Nov. 29, at $1.12 billion; and Wednesday, Nov. 30, at $1.03 billion. Online spending for the first 32 days of the November-December 2011 holiday season has totaled $18.7 billion, a 15% increase compared with the corresponding days last year. (Washington Business Journal)

--Heads up: Subaru is recalling three of its car models and Honda is recalling some motorcycles, all because the brakes can malfunction. The Honda recall covers 126,000 GL-1800 motorcycles from the 2001 to 2012 model years. A problem with a secondary brake master cylinder can cause the rear brake to drag, possibly causing a crash or fire. The Subaru recall involves nearly 32,000 Legacy, Outback and Impreza models from the 2012 model year. A defective brake master cylinder could cause the brake pedal to travel farther than expected. Federal safety regulators say this could cause a driver to misjudge the amount of pressure needed to stop quickly. (Associated Press)

-- David Lazarus

Photo:: The U.S. Postal Service is trying to cut $20 billion in operating costs by 2015. Credit: Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images