First-class postage: Price will rise by a penny on Jan. 22
The price change, the first postage markup since 2009, was announced in October. It follows last summer's announcement that the United States Postal Service was considering shuttering thousands of post offices nationwide.
The price increase is intended to raise revenue for the struggling public enterprise, which faces a projected $238-billion deficit over the next decade, postal service officials have said.
As fewer people rely on so-called snail mail, the agency has considered not just closing post offices but also cutting Saturday mail delivery. Last month, the U.S. Postal Service proposed eliminating overnight delivery of first-class mail to help it cut $20 billion in operational costs by 2015.
In 2011, the postal service delivered almost 168 billion pieces of mail -- a 21% decline from 2007 -- resulting in a $5.1 billion loss in revenue, according to the postal service's financial reports.
U.S. Postal Service officials proposed in 2010 raising first-class mail postage by 2 cents, but that was blocked by the Postal Regulatory Commission, an independent government agency charged with overseeing the postal service.
Among the other changes taking effect Sunday:
-- The cost of mailing a postcard will increase 3 cents, to 32 cents.
-- The cost of mailing letters to Canada and Mexico will rise 5 cents, to 85 cents.
-- The cost of mailing a letter to other countries will rise 7 cents, to $1.05.
A full list of price changes can be found on the USPS website.
-- Ricardo Lopez
Photo: First-class postage is rising by a penny. Credit: Paul Sakuma/Associated Press