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FedEx to hike ground shipping rates 4.9 percent in 2013

A delivery truck returns to a FedEx sort facility in Boston, Massachusetts June 18, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A delivery truck returns to a FedEx sort facility in Boston, Massachusetts June 18, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) - FedEx Corp , the No. 2 U.S. package-delivery company, said on Friday it will raise its average rates for ground shipments and home deliveries by 4.9 percent beginning in January.

The increase reflects a 5.9 percent raise in published rates at FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery, offset by a lower fuel surcharge.

The move comes two weeks after larger rival United Parcel Service Inc disclosed a 4.9 percent hike for its 2013 shipping charges.

Results of both companies in recent months have been pinched by an uncertain global economy, which has both eaten into the overall volume of goods being shipped and caused customers to choose less expensive shipping methods.

FedEx next month is scheduled to report results for its third fiscal quarter, with analysts braced for a 10 percent drop in per share earnings, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Over the past year, FedEx shares are up 15.6 percent and UPS shares are up 7.5 percent. Both lag the 18.5 percent rise of the broad Standard & Poor's 500 index <.SPX>.

(Reporting By Scott Malone; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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