Postal rates

New postal rates go into effect Sunday. First-class stamps increase 2 cents to 39 cents, postcards go up a penny to 24 cents and flat-rate priority mail rises from $3.85 to $4.05. The increase, the first since 2002, is needed to fulfill the requirement in a federal law passed in 2003 that the Postal Service establish a $3.1-billion escrow account, with use of the funds to be determined by Congress at a later date. The new stamps, including 2-cent stamps, are available at post offices or can be ordered online at www.usps.comor by calling 1-800-STAMP24.

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