The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) said Friday (May 28) it plans to try to stabilize its finances amid a sharp drop in mail volume and lagging deliveries by raising the price of a first class stamp (first class stamp) from 55 cents to 58 cents.
The USPS said the proposed price change would increase prices for dominant products and services (rates for letters, magazines and marketing mail) by about 6.9 percent across the market. First-Class Mail prices would increase 6.8 percent to offset a decline in revenue due to lower volumes of First-Class Mail. This is part of a series of proposed rate increases that the U.S. Postal Service submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on Friday.
Prices for postcards, international letters and other services will also increase. The new postage rates will take effect Aug. 29.
In a statement, the USPS said mail volume has declined by 46 billion pieces, or 28 percent, over the past 10 years and continues to decline. Over the same period, first-class mail volume has fallen 32 percent, and single-piece first-class mail volume – including letters with stamps – has dropped 47 percent.
In March, the post office announced slower delivery times and other changes to stabilize its financial position after a long period of deficits.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the postage changes announced Friday will use “a reasonable pricing approach that will help keep us viable and competitive.
Paul Steidler, a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute, said in an e-mail interview with Bloomberg that the Postal Regulatory Commission is unlikely to oppose the requested rate increase and has limited authority to do so.
“There are going to be a lot of politicians and consumer groups that are going to be angry about this issue, especially when the on-time mail service is so bad,” Steidler said.
Delivery of post office mail has been sluggish since DeJoy cut overtime and reduced extra trips by delivery trucks last year in an effort to control costs.