The U.S. Postal Service’s regulator approved price increases amounting to 6 percent on most mail, a step the service’s board called a “last resort” forced by Congress’s failure to pass cost-cutting legislation.
A first-class stamp will cost 49 cents, up from 46 cents, starting Jan. 26. Similar changes will apply to magazines, bills and advertising mail. The increases of 4.3 percent approved today are on top of 1.7 percent, an amount equal to inflation, approved last month.
The Postal Regulatory Commission, in a 2-1 vote, rejected a Postal Service request to make the higher rates permanent, saying they will probably need to end in less than two years. The increase is designed to boost revenue by $1.8 billion a year to make up for losses during the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, according to the order today.