Price of U.S. postage to decrease tomorrow

The price of U.S. stamps hasn’t gone down in almost a century, but tomorrow, the price is scheduled to drop from 49 cents to 47 cents for a first-class stamp; from 35 cents to 34 cents for postcard stamps; and from $1.20 to $1.15 for international stamps.

Interestingly, the previous price decrease was in July 1919, when the price of a first-class stamp dropped from 3 cents to 2 cents.

However, pushing postage prices down is not rational, suggested U.S. Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan, who said “removing the surcharge and reducing our prices is an irrational outcome considering the postal service’s precarious financial condition.”

Unless U.S. Congress decides to extend, or perhaps make permanent, the existing exigent surcharge added to mailing products and services last year, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will be required to reduce certain prices by tomorrow. This mandatory move is expected to hit USPS coffers by reducing revenue and increasing net losses by about $2 billion a year.

Luckily for Brennan, U.S. Congress could extend the recent price increase beyond tomorrow’s deadline, although there’s no indication that will happen.

“The exigent surcharge granted to the postal service last year only partially alleviated our extreme multi-year revenue declines resulting from the Great Recession, which exceeded $7 billion in 2009 alone,” said Brennan.

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