USPS Warns: We May Hike Prices

'We are loathe to pursue this approach'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2013 1:28 PM CDT
USPS Warns: We May Hike Prices
A first class envelope is shown at a U.S. Post Office in San Jose, Calif., Monday, Dec. 5, 2011.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The USPS board intends to "evaluate" the possibility of hiking all of its postage rates, its head said today, admitting, "We are loathe to pursue this approach," according to CNN. But the postal service has been backed into a corner by Congress' refusal to allow it to stop Saturday mail delivery and a 2006 law requiring it to prefund health care benefits for future retirees.

Stamps rose to 46 cents in January. The agency lost $1.9 billion last quarter, despite massive cost-cutting moves—the service now has fewer career employees than at any time since 1966—and a 9.3% jump in package delivery revenue over Q1 of 2012. Of course, actual letter volume continues to drop as email replaces it. "It's extremely difficult to compete with free," USPS' top financial officer said. (Read more USPS stories.)

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