The U.S. Postal Service is set to ask early next year for a rise in postage stamp prices of at least 10 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The increase — expected to take effect in early 2006 — would be the fourth round of price hikes in recent years and lead to a first-class stamp costing at least 41 cents, up from 37 cents currently, the paper said.
The USPS was already planning to file for an increase next year, but the requested rise will probably be in the double digits because Congressional passage of proposed legislation overhauling the postal system is unlikely, the Journal said.
The postal bill would enable the post office to benefit from about $3 billion a year in pension-fund savings and streamline the rate-setting process, which can last for nearly a year, the newspaper reported.
A new rate rise could also drive customers to pay bills via the Internet and to use competitors such as United Parcel Service Inc., the world’s largest package carrier, to send packages, according to the Journal.