February 11, 2009

The Price Of A Stamp On The Rise

An extra 2 cents will be tacked on to the already priced 42-cent stamp by the U.S. Postal Service starting in May.

Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service announced that the price of a first-class stamp will be 44 cents on May 11.

From now until then, Forever Stamps will be available, which are 42-cent stamps that will remain valid in the future regardless of the rate hikes.

"The Postal Service is not immune to rising costs which are affecting homes and businesses across America today," said Postmaster General John Potter. "Even with the increases, the Postal Service continues to offer some of the lowest postage prices in the world."

Postage rates go up annually in May, and the prices are always announced in February.  The change is tied to the rate inflation in the year before.

The 44-cent rate will cover the first ounce of first-class mail, while the normal 17 cents for each additional ounce will remain the same.

This increase will cost the average household $3-a-year, according to the postal officials estimate.

The Postal Service lost $2.8 billion last year and is predicted to be a much larger loss in the year ahead.

Officials felt that if there was a larger increase due to the extraordinary circumstances, then it would result in a greater decline in mail volume.

The post office has cut costs, reduced work hours, and asked Congress to ease requirements for advance funds for retiree benefits and to allow mail to be delivered five days a week instead of six.

Other changes that will take effect on May 11 are: the postcard stamp increases to 28 cents, the first ounce of large envelope increases to 88 cents, the first ounce of parcel increases to $1.22, and international postcard prices are increased as well.

Most Postal Service shipping services prices were adjusted in January and will not change in May.


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