Within Europe, the cost of a standard letter in Germany still reasonable
- European postal-rate study 2013: Cost of a standard letter remains in lower third despite rate hike
- Inflation-adjusted price has fallen by 13 percent in 10 years
The real cost of a standard letter has fallen more steeply in Germany than in any other country - with the exception of Cyprus.
The postal customers of Deutsche Post can still send their standard letters at very reasonable rates, according to a new comparison of postal rates for 2013. This was the 12th time that the postal-rate comparison of standard letters was conducted in 30 countries. The conclusion: Despite the three-cent rate increase introduced in January, the 58-cent price that consumers pay to mail a letter in Germany remains below the European average.
The reasonable level of postal rates in Germany is seen even more clearly when the various wage-cost levels of national postal services and differences in purchasing power are incorporated into the formula. In these terms, the cost of a standard domestic letter is higher in 23 of the 30 countries examined in the study than in Germany.
Real cost has fallen deeply
The study also measured postal rates on an inflation-adjusted basis. This approach facilitates an objective comparison because a nominally unchanged rate decreases each year in real terms by the inflation rate. The result: The real cost of a standard letter has fallen more steeply in Germany than in any other country - with the exception of Cyprus. Adjusted for inflation, rates fell by more than 13 percent between 2002 and 2012. In the same period, the average cost for a standard letter in all of the countries under review rose by more than 34 percent.
Deutsche Post also offers reasonable rates for letters sent to other European countries: At 75 cents, the company's rate ranks in the bottom quarter of the comparison. On average, Europeans pay 96 cents to send a letter to another country in Europe.