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Panel approves postage rate hike

November 1, 2005

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The cost of mailing a letter in the
United States will rise two cents to 39 cents under a rate hike
approved by the U.S. Postal Rate Commission on Tuesday.

The increase, the first in three years, was not expected to
take effect before early next year, the commission said in a
statement.

The cost of a first class postage stamp will rise from 37
cents to 39 cents while the cost of sending a postcard will
increase by one penny to 24 cents, the commission said.

It will be the first increase in U.S. postage rates since
June 2002.

The U.S. Postal Service requested a 5.4 percent
across-the-board rate increase to meet a $3.1 billion escrow
payment due in 2006, the commission said.

The new rate plan approved by the Postal Rate Commission
will cut mailing costs for small local newspapers by 2.3
percent.

However, the commission said the rates sought for books and
media materials was too low to cover the cost of handling that
mail and recommended a 12.7 percent.




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