The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will implement a stamp price increase on Sunday -- and you will pay a penny more for a first-class stamp. Its price will rise to 45 cents from 44 cents.

It is the first increase in the price of stamps since 2009, and it was announced in October. The USPS is losing billions of dollars annually, which has led it to close post offices around the country. It says it needs to increase prices to keep up with shifting trends, including less first-class mail.

The postal service proposed in 2010 raising the prices of first-class postage stamps by two cents, but the Postal Regulatory Commission rejected the request. Other changes will also take place on Sunday's USPS postage price increase for 2012. They include:

-- The cost of mailing a postcard increases 3 cents to 32 cents.

-- The cost of mailing letters to Canada and Mexico rises 5 cents to 85 cents.

-- The cost of mailing a letter to other countries rises 7 cents to $1.05.

    Prices also will change for other mailing services, including Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services, the USPS said.

    The overall average price increase is small and is needed to help address our current financial crisis, said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in a statement when the price hike was announced. We continue to take actions within our control to increase revenue in other ways and to aggressively cut costs. To return to sound financial footing we urgently need enactment of comprehensive, long-term legislation to provide the Postal Service with a more flexible business model.

    The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.