Postal Regulatory Commission Approves 2 Percent Rate Hike

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It rules that the increase suggested by USPS is in line with price cap regulations. New prices will take effect on April 26.

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) yesterday approved the Postal Service's request for an average 2% increase on market dominant products, ruling that the numbers were in line with price cap regulations.

Forever stamp prices will remain the same, at 49 cents, but pre-sorted letters and postcards will go up 2.4% when the new rates take effect on April 26.

The price of single-piece, machinable, metered letters will increase half a cent to 48.5 cents. In addition, USPS will raise the single-piece additional ounce price for letters from 21 to 22 cents and the single-piece postcard price from 34 to 35 cents. The first ounce price for single-piece flats remains at 98 cents.

The PRC also approved a workshare discount increase—from 18.3 to 19.2 cents—on automated five-digit flats, as well as continuation of discounts for upcoming promotional programs for business mailers.

A three-cent rebate on Business Reply Mail and Courtesy Reply Mail will be returned to mailers who participated in the Earned Value Reply program in 2014; newcomers will get a two-cent rebate. A promo encouraging use of innovative methods will provide a 2% discount on mail including such technologies as near field communication (NFC) or augmented reality (AR), and a 2% discount will be given to mailers using dynamic or variable color in marketing messages.

USPS declined to take its annual price cap adjustment in January, awaiting the outcome of its appeal to keep the 4.3% exigent price increase on a permanent basis. That decision, however, is still forthcoming from the D.C. Court of Appeals.

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