The U.S. Postal Service is set to implement several changes this month, including an increase in stamp prices. Starting this Sunday, the cost of first-class “forever” stamps will rise from 63 to 66 cents. This comes just months after the price of forever stamps went up from 60 to 63 cents in January. The Postal Service has seen a series of similar increases in recent years.
The decision to raise the price of forever stamps was prompted by rising operating expenses due to inflation and the impact of a previously defective pricing model. The Postal Service stated that these changes are necessary to generate much-needed revenue.
In addition to the increase in forever stamp prices, other mail services will also see price hikes. Sending a first-class one-ounce metered letter will now cost 63 cents, while domestic postcards will jump to 51 cents. International postcards and one-ounce letters will both be priced at $1.50.
To coincide with these changes, the Postal Service will introduce a new package shipping service called USPS Ground Advantage on Sunday. This service will replace and combine previous plans. The pricing for Ground Advantage will reflect a 3.2 percent decrease in retail prices and a 0.7 percent drop for commercial customers.
The price changes and the implementation of Ground Advantage have been approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Governors of the U.S. Postal Service. These changes were announced in the Postal Service’s April notice.
This recent increase in stamp prices marks the fifth jump since the beginning of 2019 when stamps cost 50 cents each. When adjusted for inflation, 50 cents in January 2019 is equivalent to approximately 60 cents in the spring of 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI inflation calculator.
Despite the price increases, the Postal Service reported improved revenue for the first quarter of 2023. Operating revenue reached $21.5 billion, a $206 million increase compared to the same period last year. Although mail volume declined by 1.7 billion pieces, or 4.8 percent, the Postal Service still managed to reduce its net loss to $1 billion. This reflects a significant improvement of $519 million compared to the net loss incurred during the first quarter of the previous year.
In conclusion, the U.S. Postal Service is implementing several changes this month, including an increase in stamp prices. The rise in forever stamp prices from 63 to 66 cents is attributed to the Postal Service’s need for additional revenue and rising operating expenses due to inflation. Other mail services will also experience price increases, while a new package shipping service called USPS Ground Advantage will be introduced. Despite the price hikes, the Postal Service reported improved revenue and a reduced net loss for the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year.