Postal service announces stamp rate increase

WASHINGTON — Nothing lasts forever.

Stamp prices will climb by 1 cent starting in January, the U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday.

The cost of a first-class stamp, also known as a forever stamp, will climb to 45 cents Jan. 22, the first price jump in more than 2 1/2 years, the Postal Service said. The cost of sending magazines, standard mail and some package services will also rise, but prices for Express Mail and Priority Mail will stay the same.

The 1-cent price increase is expected to raise an additional $888 million in revenue, postal officials said Tuesday.

The jump "is small and is needed to help address our current financial crisis," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement, adding that while the Postal Service continues to "aggressively cut costs," it needs Congress to pass postal reform legislation that he said would make it easier to save money.

Starting Jan. 22, rates will increase as follows:

• First-class letters (1 ounce): 1-cent increase to 45 cents.

• Letters weighing additional ounces: unchanged at 20 cents.

• Postcards: a 3-cent increase to 32 cents.

• Letters to Canada or Mexico (1 ounce): a 5-cent increase to 85 cents.

• Letters to other international destinations: a 7-cent increase to $1.05.

The Postal Service is thought to have lost about $10 billion in the fiscal year that ended last month. It is pushing Congress to enact a series of reforms that would permit the Postal Service to end Saturday mail deliveries, close post offices and mail-processing facilities and raise postage rates beyond the rate of inflation.

The price increases announced Tuesday, and formally filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission, are capped by law at 2.1 percent, the rate of inflation based on the Consumer Price Index.

Postal service announces stamp rate increase 10/18/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:08am]

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