The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service announced Tuesday that it will increase postage rates on Jan. 22, including a 1-cent increase in the cost of first-class mail, to 45 cents.
Under the law the post office cannot raise prices more than the rate of inflation, which is 2.1 percent, unless it gets special permission from the independent Postal Regulatory Commission. The PRC last year turned down such a request.
The post office lost $8 billion in fiscal 2010 and the bottom line is likely to be even worse when final figures for fiscal 2011 are released next month.