U.S. Postal Service raising price of stamps starting this weekend

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2011, photo, a customer places first class stamps on envelopes at a U.S. Post Office in San Jose, Calif. It'll cost another penny to mail a letter in 2013. The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service said Thursday that it will raise postage rates on Jan. 27, including a 1-cent increase in the cost of first-class mail to 46 cents. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

January 24, 2014 5:51:52 PM PST
The U.S. Post Office is raising the price of stamps by three cents, from 46 to 49 cents, beginning Sunday.

The hike is the largest increase in consumer postage prices in more than a decade.

It will affect millions of people, even though fewer Americans now use the mail to pay bills and keep in touch.

The hike comes after the agency's regulator gave the green light back in December to keep up with inflation and recoup losses incurred during the great recession.

The agency said in November that it lost $5 billion in the latest fiscal year, which is far less than in recent years, but that's on top of years of losses.

The agency has exhausted a $15 billion loan from taxpayers to make up for shortfalls.

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