A forewarning on changes in stamp prices has been reported since last year, informing Americans to look forward to an increase in costs for the new year.
Well Sunday was the day that stamps officially increased by 4 cents; a new pricing that is expected to be in effect for the next 24 months.
With the approval of the Postal Regulatory Commission, the United States Postal Service (USPS) decided to raise the price by 6 percent, which is 1.7 percent over the inflation rate.
The new First-class mail pricing includes:
- Letters (1 oz.) — 3-cent increase to 49 cents
- Letters additional ounces — 1-cent increase to 21 cents
- Letters to all international destinations (1 oz.) — $1.15
- Postcards — 1-cent increase to 34 cents
USPS - 2014 First-Class Stamp Price http://t.co/dST0EjhvJM
— U.S. Postal Service (@USPS) January 27, 2014
The agency's price change is in response to a financial crisis the company has dealt with since the recession. Job cuts and the closing of a number of post office locations confirmed the setbacks the USPS has experienced since the economic slump.
The Governors of the Postal Service have determined that because Congress has failed to enact laws that would alleviate the agency’s financial struggles, an increase in postage prices is necessary. Consequently, they have determined that a price adjustment will help to improve the Postal Service’s performance, which will continue to meet the high standards that America needs.
However, a number of mailing-industry organizations, like the Newspaper Association of America, are not too pleased with the new prices. An appeal was sent to the U.S Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 in response to the changes.
Senior Vice President Peggy Hudson of the Direct Marketing Association shared in a press release that the new rates would only cause issues for both parties.
"[The rate increase] will simply drive mail from the system, which harms the financial viability of both the Postal Service and its business customers. It is a lose-lose proposition,” she said.
On the same day, The USPS submitted an appeal of their own asking for the new prices to be made permanently. The Postal Regulatory Commission had previously declined their request.
The Postal Service predicts that their losses will be nearly $6 billion this year. Last year they suffered a $15.9 billion net loss.
Hopefully with the timeframe given, the agency will have enough time to recover from their financial decline.
For more information on the new postage rates, here is a detailed summary located on Stamps.com.