The U.S. Postal Service on Monday said it was seeking approval to hike the price of first-class mail stamps to 66 cents from 63 cents.
USPS won approval to hike stamp prices to 63 cents from 60 cents in January. The new hike — which the USPS says is needed to offset the rise in inflation — would take effect July 9 if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
The price changes have been approved by USPS board of governors. The plan seeks to raise overall first-class mail prices by 5.4%.
If approved, stamp prices will have risen 32% since early 2019 when they rose from 50 cents to 55 cents.
USPS revenue for first-class mail has been increasing as price hikes have offset lower volumes.
First-class mail, used by most people to send letters and pay bills is the highest revenue-generating mail class, accounting for $24.2 billion, or 31%, of the $78.8 billion in total USPS revenue in 2022.
USPS said in February revenue for the final three months of 2022 was $21.5 billion, up $206 million, or 1%, on a volume decline of 1.7 billion pieces, or 4.8%. USPS reported a net loss for the quarter of $1 billion.
First-Class Mail revenue increased $95 million, or 1.5%, on a volume decline of 587 million pieces, or 4.5% versus the same period in 2021. First-Class Mail volume remains lower than pre-pandemic levels.
“Elevated inflation continues to have a significant impact on our results,” said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett in February.
In April 2022, President Joe Biden signed legislation providing USPS with about $50 billion in financial relief over a decade. USPS has reported net losses of more than $90 billion since 2007.
Congress also forgave a $10 billion COVID-19 U.S. Treasury loan made to USPS in 2020 and awarded USPS $3 billion last year to fund electric vehicle purchases and charging infrastructure.