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Postal Service to Adjust Prices, Extends POSTNET Barcode Use

January 13, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC—Jan. 13, 2011—The first U.S. Postal Service has filed new mailing service prices with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Price increases are limited to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) cap of 1.7 percent, consistent with the Postal Law of 2006. Actual percentage price increases for various products and services will vary. It has been nearly two years since the last increase.

The prices filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission today will become effective April 17.

Highlights of the pricing proposal include:

• First-Class letters (1 oz.) remain unchanged at 44 cents,
• First-Class letter additional ounces increase to 20 cents,
• Postcards will cost 29 cents,
• Letters to Canada or Mexico (1 oz.) increase to 80 cents, and
• Letters to other international destinations will remain unchanged at 98 cents.

“While changing prices is always a difficult decision, we have made every effort to keep the impact minimal for consumers and customers doing business with us at retail lobbies,” said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe. “We will continue to balance our business needs against the needs of our customers.”

The overall average increase across all mailing services is capped by law at 1.7 percent—at or below the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index—although actual percentage price increases for various products and services will vary.

Prices will change for other mailing services, including Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services. Larger volume business mailers will see price increases in a variety of categories. Today’s announcement does not affect Express Mail and Priority Mail prices.

Summary of Percentage Changes by Product Category

First-Class Mail
Single-piece Letters & Cards — 0.5 percent
Flats — 5.3 percent
Parcels — 3.8 percent
Presort Letters & Cards — 1.8 percent
International (Outbound and Inbound) — 4.0 percent

Standard Mail
Letters — 1.8 percent
Flats — 0.8 percent
Carrier Route Letters, Flats, and Parcels — 1.4 percent
High Density / Saturation Letters — 0.6 percent
High Density / Saturation Flats and Parcels — 0.4 percent
Parcels (NFM’s / Parcels) — 11.3 percent

Periodicals
Outside County — 1.8 percent
Inside County — 1.1 percent

The proposed price changes are expected to generate $340 million for the balance of the fiscal year and $720 million if implemented for a 12-month period.

POSTNET Update

Regarding POSTNET, “we heard concerns that we were moving too fast on discontinuing POSTNET coding, and we will continue to offer the automation prices for mail with POSTNET barcodes beyond May 2011,” Donahoe said.
 

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