USPS Won’t Raise Its Rates in 2010

WASHINGTON, DC—We interrupt this recession for a minor piece of good news, especially for those whose business relies on the U.S. Postal Service. After several consecutive years of rate increases, the USPS is holding the line in 2010.

In an internal postal memo, Postmaster General John Potter announced there would be no rise in prices next year for market-dominant products, including first class mail, standard mail, periodicals and single-piece parcel post. Clearly, of most interest to printers is standard (advertising) mail and periodicals, though some billing does go through first class.

It has been a terrible year for the USPS, which has had to cut thousands of jobs and evaluate the potential closing of hundreds of branches. Congress did throw it a bone by delaying, for one year, the USPS’ $4 billion payment toward future retiree health benefits.

“While increasing prices might have generated revenue for the Postal Service in the short term, the long-term effect could drive additional mail out of the system,” Potter noted. “We want mailers to continue to invest in mail to grow their businesses, communicate with valued customers and maintain a strong presence in the marketplace.”

An announcement will be made this month as to possible price changes for competitive products such as priority mail, express mail, parcel select and international products.