The U.S. Postal Service’s regulator approved price increases on most mail by 6 percent, a step the service’s board called a “last resort” forced by Congress’s failure to pass postal legislation.
A first-class stamp will cost 49 cents, up from 46 cents, starting Jan. 26. Increases will apply to most magazines, bills and advertising mail. The increases of 4.3 percent approved today are on top of increases of 1.7 percent, an amount equal to inflation, approved last month.
The increase isn’t intended to be permanent. It’s designed to boost revenue at the postal service by $1.8 billion a year to make up for revenue lost during the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, according to the order released today by the Postal Regulatory Commission.