Stamps for U.S. letters to rise to 44 cents in May

Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:21pm EST
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By Jasmin Melvin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The price of a one-ounce first-class stamp will rise to 44 cents on May 11, the U.S. Postal Service said on Tuesday.

Postmaster General John Potter said the price of a stamp is going up because operational costs for the postal service are rising while the recession is dragging down mail volume.

"The Postal Service is not immune to rising costs which are affecting homes and businesses across America today," said Potter.

The new price is expected to add about $3 to the average household's annual mailing expenses, according to the postal service. The price for each additional ounce of first-class mail will remain at 17 cents.

Consumers weary of the 2-cent rise in the price of stamps can stock up on Forever Stamps for 42 cents each until May 11. They can be used on one-ounce letters no matter what price they are purchased for.

The Forever Stamps "were developed to help consumers ease the transition during price changes," the Postal Service said. Their price will increase to 44 cents on May 11.

The price of several other mailing services will also go up on that day.

It will cost 1 cent more to mail a postcard, as the price increases to 27 cents. The first ounce of a large envelope will rise 5 cents to 88 cents, while the first ounce of a parcel also goes up 5 cents, to $1.22.   Continued...