The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that regulators have approved a temporary increase on a first class stamp; the 3 cents increase will bring the price to 49 cents. This temporary rate hike will not take place until after January 26 and will not last longer than two years.
USPS believes that the increase is needed to help them recover from $5 billion in losses for this year. The seventh consecutive year that the postal service is reporting a loss, started with the economic downturn in 2008, also known as the Great Recession. The rate hike will last just long enough to recover almost $2.8 billion, according to the regulators that approved the rate hike.
There will also be a 6% increase on the rates for bulk mailing, periodicals, and package services. Both increases are greater than what is allowed for inflation, which is why the hike needed regulatory approval.
Postal officials argue that both measures should help with lower mail volumes: caused by a down economy, more correspondence done over the Internet, and many organizations using other corporate package deliverers (FedEx and UPS).
Those opposing the measure say it will hurt mostly charities, attempting to do mass mailing and small companies doing business online. Which put them in direct competition against the large e-tailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon, who can afford better delivery methods or higher prices for mailings.