Struggling U.S. Postal Service Raising Rates Again

Beginning in late January, the cost of a stamp will go up again. The new rate will be 46 cents for a 1-ounce first-class letter, from 45 cents now.

In a new wrinkle, the Postal Service is also bringing out out a new global Forever stamp that will be good for letters sent anywhere in the world. The cost of the international Forever stamp will be $1.10, according to

The price hike, set to take effect Jan. 27, is the latest for the struggling Postal Service. The transition by consumers to electronic communications, and the shift to shipping via Federal Express (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS), has undercut letter and package volume and cut into the agency’s income over the years. The USPS will be raising the costs of its shipping services by an average of 4%.

Postal officials have been aggressively pursuing cost-savings measures recently by requesting that they end Saturday delivery and to allow the price of stamps to exceed the rate of inflation. Any such moves must be approved by Congress.

The last price hike, to 45 cents, came last January.

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