Today’s postage rate increase won’t break the bank, but it may give you a penny-stamp headache. Most notably, the price of a First Class mail stamp will increase from 42¢ to 44¢. Other notable price increases include:
Large envelopes – first ounce — $0.88
Parcels – first ounce –$1.22 ($0.17 per additional ounce)
Postcard — $0.28
Stamped Envelope — $0.54
Certified Mail — $2.80
Priority Mail — $0.70
The USPS has a complete price list here.
I noticed an interesting tidbit on the USPS website:
The average increase by class of mail is at or below the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Does that mean we’re experiencing inflation? I can’t conclude anything from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ quote below:
For the first three months of 2009, consumer prices increase at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 2.2 percent. This compares to a 0.1 percent increase for all of 2008.
Wikipedia notes a couple of other interesting facts about the CPI:
Between 1971 and 1977, the United States CPI increased 47%.
In 2009 the Consumer Price Index fell for the first time since 1955.
The postage stamp increase alone may not mean much, but it is a reminder to watch for other signs of inflation, whether through the CPI or other price increases. I think it’s just a matter of time before inflation hits.