USPS Projects Smaller Rate Increase in 2010
Chair: Next year's price adjustment will likely be less than one percent.
Despite a recent rate increase, and news that the USPS is
in financial dire straights, there may be some better news ahead for
When Dan Blair, chair of the Postal Regulatory Commission, addressed
the House Oversight and Government Reform Federal Workforce, Postal
Service and the District of Columbia Subcommittee last month, he noted
that based on current inflation trends, the price adjustment for 2010
would likely be less than one percent.
Blair noted that the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of
2006 allows the USPS to file an “exigent” rate case to address revenue
shortfalls, thus allowing the USPS to raise its rates for market
dominant products higher than the Consumer Price Index-based cap.
However, Blair said, “the Postmaster General has indicated his
desire to avoid filing such a case for fear that raising rates above
inflation would likely drive more mailers from the system and further
diminish future postal volumes and revenues.”
Blair also discussed other strategies for improving the USPS’
financial outlook, including “examining ways to grow volume and
position the Postal Service to take advantage of market opportunities
once the economy begins to recover.” The 2006 Act, he said, allows the
USPS “additional flexibilities in seeking negotiated service agreements
as well as new and experimental products."