On May 11th, the price of a first-class stamp increased by 2 cents to 44 cents. The rate increase is the fourth consecutive year postage has gone up in the U.S., and is an attempt to offset rising operational costs and the use of the internet to correspond and pay bills. Mail volume is down nearly 15 percent in the past year.
Under U.S. law, the price of stamps is not allowed to rise faster than the country’s consumer price index, which measures inflation. This year’s rate increase is estimated to cost an average family an extra $3 per year. In 2008, the United States Postal Service (USPS) lost $2.8 billion.
Other USPS price increases include:
According to the USPS, billions of “Forever Stamps” have been sold since their introduction in April 2007 and will continue to be honored for a one ounce letter. The price to buy a Forever Stamp, however, will also increase to 44 cents, and in the future will be valued at the going rate of a first class stamp.
Even amidst the recent price increase, the USPS states that they “continue to offer great service at some of the lowest postage prices in the world.” The World Wide Web, however, is giving them a run for their money.
For more information on the new stamp increase, please visit: www.usps.com/prices.