If anyone in the UK thinks this country has suffered disproportionately from rises in the cost of sending mail and parcels, then news from Germany won't make you feel any better.
Deutsche Post, that country's equivalent of the Royal Mail, has just been given government approval to raise its prices – but for Germans, it will be the first such increase in 15 years!
And even then, some classes of mail will escape the rises.
The cost of posting a standard domestic letter will rise from 55c (44p) to 58c (46p), or by five per cent, while sending a large envelope, which currently costs EUR2.20 (£1.75) will, from January 1 2013, cost EUR2.40 (£1.91).
Prices are also going up for sending international mail. Germans will pay EUR1.50 (£1.20) to send an international compact letter weighing up to 20 grams, against the current EUR1.45 (£1.16).
Jochen Homann, president of the German Federal Network Agency, the body which regulates the country's postal services, stressed that, in order to keep prices stable for the past decade, Deutsche Post's workers had met tough targets to improve their productivity by 20 per cent so that prices could be kept stable, despite inflation.
The increase, he added, "makes Germany about average for postal rates in Europe, but with high quality delivery services".