Expect to pay more for stamps next year as USPS continues to struggle

Presort.com   October 6, 2017    

The U.S. Postal Service anticipates price increases next year as it struggles with the decline in first-class mail use and for the fifth straight year failed to make payments into retirees’ pension and health care fund.

The Wall Street Journal reports that first-class mail use declined 4.1 percent year to year and that the growth in e-commerce deliveries hasn’t been enough to compensate for that loss.

The USPS, however, may be limited in how much in can bump rates. Price increases for “market dominant” products like first-class mail can’t exceed the inflation rate, which hit 1.7 percent in August, the report says.

One more challenge: The quasi-governmental agency must win approval from its Board of Governors to raise rates, but that body now has no standing members and none have been appointed, the report says.

The Postal Service has lost $55 million in the nine months ending June 30, and revenue in that period fell 3 percent to $53.1 billion, the report says. The skipped pension payment of $6.9 billion brings the total in forgone payments to $40 billion since 2012.