Stamp Prices Climb

The cost of mailing a letter went up a penny to 42 cents on Monday, the latest in what are expected to be annual price adjustments by the Postal Service.

A new law regulating the post office makes it easier to raise rates as long as the agency doesn’t exceed the rate of inflation. Rates are to be adjusted each May.

A set of five 42-cent stamps honoring pioneering journalists went on sale in April, as did a set of four stamps featuring the American flag flying at different times of day.

A 42-cent stamp featuring singer and actor Frank Sinatra was be released Tuesday.

The increase comes just a week after the post office announced it had a loss of $700 million in the second quarter of the fiscal year, blamed largely on declining mail volume and rising fuel prices.

While the charge for the first ounce of a first-class letter rises to 42 cents, the price of each added ounce will remain 17 cents, so a two-ounce letter will go up a penny to 59 cents.

The cost to mail a post card will also go up a penny, to 27 cents.

Other rates effective Monday:

• Large envelope, 2 ounces, $1, up 3 cents.

• Money Orders up to $500, $1.05, unchanged.

• Certified mail, $2.70, up 5 cents.

• First-class international letter to Canada or Mexico, 72 cents, up 3 cents.

• First-class international letter to other countries, 94 cents, up 4 cents.

• Priority mail flat-rate envelope, $4.75, up 25 cents.

• Express mail flat-rate envelope, $16.50, up 25 cents.

The Postal Service said that overall prices for Express Mail, its overnight service, will be lower at the weights and in the delivery zones used by most customers.

Express mail and Priority mail customers who buy postage online, will receive 3 percent off the published retail prices and Priority mail customers will save an average 3.5 percent.

Postage rates last went up in May 2007, with a first-class stamp jumping 2 cents to the current 41-cent rate. That change came under the old law governing the post office, while the current boost uses the simpler procedures of the new one.

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