The United States Postal Service (USPS) said on Friday it wants to raise the price of first-class mail stamps to 68 cents from 66 cents effective Jan. 21.
The proposal, which must be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, would raise mailing services product prices by about 2 percent, significantly less than prior price hikes.
Stamp prices are up 32 percent over the last four years since early 2019 when they were 50 cents. First-class mail volume fell 3 percent last year to it lowest level in 50 years and is down 51 percent since 2006.
The USPS said on Friday “as inflationary pressures on operating expenses continue and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue.”
First-class mail, used by most people to send letters and pay bills, is the highest revenue-generating mail class, accounting for $24.2 billion, or 31 percent, of the $78.8 billion in total USPS revenue in 2022.
In April, USPS cut projected losses through 2031 by more than half after winning financial relief from the U.S. Congress, instituting regular price hikes and adopting reforms.
USPS has been raising stamp prices twice yearly and expects its “new pricing policy to generate $44 billion in additional revenue” by 2031.
By David Shepardson