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Cost of First Class Stamps Increase to 49 Cents

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The cost of a stamp is set to increase on Sunday from 46 cents to 49 cents.

The price increase is the largest in consumer postage rates in over 10 years. Millions of Americans will be impacted by the increased cost, though, fewer individuals use so-called "snail mail" to stay in touch with others.

Despite the rate increase, the higher prices may not be permanent.

The Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the USPS, approved an "exigent" price increase, but refused to make the new rate permanent, despite the USPS's request. Instead, the PRC approval forces the Postal Service to come up with a strategy to phase out that increase once the money lost during the recession is recovered.

The order from the PRC also states that the new price cannot last for longer than two years.

The U.S. Post Office's regulator approved the rate hike in December to help keep up with inflation and recover losses from during the recession.

In the last fiscal year, the U.S. Post Office said it lost $5 billion.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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