The organization that monitors and certifies newspaper circulation has reduced the most recent Sunday sales figures for The Inquirer by more than 17,000 copies after an audit prompted a dispute over the numbers, officials said today.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations adjustment for the six-month period ended Sept. 1, 2007, reduced the paper's Sunday circulation to 645,095, a change within the audit firm's own 3 percent margin of error.

The ABC audit also called for a reduction of 211 for the paper's daily circulation, to 338,049. Even with that nominal cut, the paper still could claim the biggest daily circulation gain of any major U.S. newspaper last year.

Contact staff writer Maria Panaritis at 215-854-2431 or