Senior U.S. Postal Service leadership for the first time publicly committed to have no general price increase for letter and flat mail in 2016, according to the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. The USPS previously announced an average 9.5 percent price increase for shipping services beginning in January 2016.
The mailing announcement came at a meeting of the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee. The USPS faces a Consumer Price Index cap of less than 1 percent on its mailing services, but "nevertheless, we applaud the announcement by the USPS as a goodwill gesture toward its customers and a good business decision to remove one element of uncertainty facing mailers," ANM executive director Stephen Kearney said.
USPS spokesman Jim Cochrane said the USPS is open to an overall “revenue-neutral” rate case in 2016 designed to fix pricing anomalies caused by the 2015 rate changes. But he reminded MTAC that within a revenue-neutral price change, there would be "winners and losers" - some prices would go up and others would go down.
Cochrane and USPS CFO Joe Corbett assumed or conceded that the 4.3 percent exigent surcharge will be rolled back around April 2016 when the target revenue is reached per the July 29 ruling by the Postal Regulatory Commission, Kearney reported. This will allow USPS customers to firm up their plans. Corbett gave a 2016 forecast for a small operating profit even with the mid-year price reduction.