USPS Wants to Raise Postage Stamp Prices Again to Combat Rising Inflation
The USPS raised the price of postage stamps by 4.2 percent effective Jan. 22, 2023. Now, it wants to raise stamp prices by another 3 cents.
Although it shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone, the cost of a postage stamp increased once again. As prices on everything from groceries to gasoline are rising due to inflation, the United States Postal Service (USPS) also raised prices on postage in 2023. Now, the USPS is looking to implement yet another price hike. So, how much did the price of postage stamps go up?
For those who missed the USPS’s October 2022 announcement, the price of a stamp to mail a first-class letter is now 3 cents higher. A Forever stamp purchased at the lower price of 60 cents prior to the change will still be valid, but any new Forever stamps are now $0.63 apiece. That change took effect Jan. 22, 2023. Will prices increase again due to rising inflation?
Get the details on when the new stamp price hike might take effect and how much each piece of postage will cost down below.
What is the stamp price increase for 2023?
As of Jan. 22, 2023, the new higher price on postage took effect, raising the price of stamps from $0.60 to $0.63. The USPS reported that the jump reflects a 4.2 percent increase and aims to offset inflation.
In April, NBC News reported that the inflation rate had lowered to 5 percent in March 2023. However, because companies (including those owned by the government) are still battling high production and operating costs, prices are still relatively high.
When is the next stamp price increase?
Although the USPS was given the green light by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to raise the price of stamps at the beginning of 2023, it's now pushing for yet another price hike. On April 10, the USPS announced that it had filed notice with the PRC to raise stamp prices from $0.63 to $0.66. It's hoping to get the increase implemented by July 9, 2023.
If the USPS is successful at raising stamp prices for a second time in 2023, here's how much you'll have to pay for postage:
- 1 oz. domestic letter will increase from $0.63 to $0.66
- 1 oz. metered mail will increase from $0.60 to $0.63
- Postcard stamp (domestic) will increase from $0.48 to $0.51
- International postcards will increase from $1.45 to $1.50
- 1 oz. letter, international will increase from $1.45 to $1.50
Stamps.com, a retailer for the postal service, announced other increases. In 2023, flat rate envelopes went up from $7.75 to $8.05 and small flat rate box prices increased from $8.25 to $8.55
Will this be the last USPS postage price hike?
Unfortunately, no. The cost of postage could rise again sooner than consumers expect and more frequently. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in May 2022 that consumers need to get used to “uncomfortable” increases in postage rates for the years to come, the Associated Press reported.
DeJoy explained that although he doesn’t set prices himself, he will encourage the Postal Service Board of Governors to continue raising prices until the Postal Service is moving towards being self-sustaining.
“I believe we have been severely damaged by at least 10 years of a defective pricing model which can't be satisfied by one or two annual price increases, especially in this inflationary environment,” noted DeJoy at a Board of Governors meeting. The postal service had losses of $1.7 billion in the prior quarter.
Fox Business noted that the USPS is currently operating on a 10-year plan, Delivering for America. The organization aims to break even by fiscal 2023 and avoid a projected $160 billion in losses for the next decade.