updated 5/11/2008 5:20:06 AM ET 2008-05-11T09:20:06

Time is running out to beat the latest postage hike.

The cost of mailing a letter goes up a penny to 42 cents on Monday. The boost is part of what's expected to be an annual price adjustment by the Postal Service.

A new law regulating the post office makes it easier to raise rates as long as the agency doesn't exceed the rate of inflation. Rates are to be adjusted each May.

Customers, however, can buy Forever stamps, which remain valid regardless of any postal rate increase. However, when the rate goes up, so does the price of Forever stamps.

Postal officials say they have printed an additional 1.5 billion 1-cent stamps in anticipation of the demand from people trying to get rid of their 41-cent stamps.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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