POSTAL SERVICE BOARD APPROVES RATE HIKE

3-Cent Increase Takes Effect June 30

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- The Postal Service today formally approved a
3-cent rate hike on first-class postage.

June 30
The Postal Service Board of Governors today gave final approval to the rate accord and set June 30 as the date the increase would take effect.

The approval had been expected and will raise the cost of a first-class stamp by 3 cents to 37 cents. For marketers the raise will be about 8.7% and for media companies 10%.

Less mail
Postmaster General John Potter last week said he doesn't want to raise stamp prices again until 2004, but today the Postal Service's chief financial officer, Richard J.

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Strasser Jr., told the board that mail for the three months ended Feb. 22 was down 3.6% from the same period a year ago, with commercial mail class, or standard mail, off 1 billion pieces year to year.

Mr. Strasser also predicted continuing volume losses in the current quarter.

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