Guess what? Stamp prices are going up. Again. Effective tomorrow (Jan 26, 2014) a first class stamp will increase from 46 to 49 cents.
That’s for a 1 ounce letter. Additional ounces will likewise be increasing from 20 to 21 cents. And postcards will go from 33 to 34 cents.
Stamp prices have increased annually since 2006. That’s when the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act gave the USPS the freedom to make inflation adjustments without having to ask for permission.
But this increase, at 6.5%, is significantly higher than the inflation rate. What’s up with that? Well, this time around there’s a standard 1 cent inflation adjustment plus a temporary 2 cent “exigent rate increase” to help offset recent losses during the postal slowdown that occurred during the Great Recession.
This additional 2 cent increase is supposedly limited to two years, though the USPS is apparently planning to appeal that decision. Their hope is to make the full increase permanent, though it’s unclear how that will play out.
Oh well, at least the introduction of Forever stamps has made such price increases less complicated for consumers. Gone are the days of having to maintain a supply of 1 cent stamps to round up older denominations to the new rate.