This week the USPS raised stamp prices to 46 cents. The agency's intention to increase postage had been announced last October.
Effective on Sun. Jan. 27, the price of stamps has increased by one-cent, making the cost to mail a letter .46. The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced its intention of the increase back in October 2012, as reported by Digital Journal.
Postage for postcards are also increasing by a penny, bringing the price to 33 cents. A new product, a Global Forever Stamp for first-class mail sent worldwide, has also been introduced effective today; for $1.10, postal customers can mail a 1-ounce letter anywhere in the world.
The long-struggling USPS is currently in the midst of an ongoing financial crisis. A 2006 congressional mandate, which requires the postal agency to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees, has been a significant part of the agency's financial shortfalls. CNN reported officials said the USPS had no debt in 2005.
A problem USPS has faced is the fact it cannot make business decisions without the approval of Congress; this includes increasing the price of stamps by just a penny. Other solutions proposed by USPS include cutting out Saturday service and closing post offices and mail processing centers, to name a few.
Additionally, as more consumers turn to electronic communications, bill paying and other activities, revenue for the cash-strapped agency continues on the decline.
According to CNN, the USPS will be facing its own fiscal cliff this spring.
As the USPS waits for Congress to work out solutions, the agency has been making slight increases to postage to help offset costs. Last year the agency also raised stamps by just a penny, however there was some talk of raising the price of stamps to 50 cents each.
'Forever' stamps purchased by consumers prior to Jan. 27, 2013 will still be able to be used without any additional postage needing to be added for mailing a 1-ounce letter.
For more information on the USPS new pricing list, please visit the agency's website.