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Cost of stamps set to increase
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The price to send a letter will rise by one cent, effective Jan. 22, 2012.

A First-Class Forever stamp will cost 45 cents. The stamps currently cost 44 cents – a price they have held since their introduction in May 2009.

The United States Postal Service said the price increase is necessary to address the ongoing financial crisis.

“The overall average price increase is small and is needed to help address our current financial crisis,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “We continue to take actions within our control to increase revenue in other ways and to aggressively cut costs. To return to sound financial footing we urgently need enactment of comprehensive, long-term legislation to provide the Postal Service with a more flexible business model.”

Existing Forever stamps will continue to be valid, and will not require additional postage to mail a letter.

In other postal pricing changes effective Jan. 22, postcards will increase 3 cents, to 32 cents; letters to Canada or Mexico will increase 5 cents; and letters to other international destinations will increase 7 cents, to $1.05. The new prices will benefit businesses which employ First-Class Mail Presort mailers, offering the second ounce for free on presorted letters.

Prices will also change for Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services, though Express Mail and Priority Mail will go unchanged.