Remittances Continue Slump in 2009 and into Early 2010

SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico, April 14, 2010 | Go to article overview

Remittances Continue Slump in 2009 and into Early 2010


The amount of money that Mexican expatriates sent back home in 2009 fell sharply from 2008, and the downward trend continued into the first part of 2010. Statistics provided by the Banco de Mexico (central bank) showed remittances last year amounted to only US$21.18 million, a decline of almost 16% from 2008, a result in large part of the continued slump in the US economy. Although a slight recovery was reported in some sectors of the US economy early in the year, remittances in January and February continued to slump from year-ago levels.

In a report early in the year, the central bank said total remittances for 2009 were down almost US$4 billion from 2008. In subsequent reports, the Banco de Mexico reported remittances in January amounted to about US$1.32 billion, down almost 16% from a year ago. In February, remittances reached US$1.54 billion, a decline of about 14% from the same month in 2009. The decline in February marked the 16th consecutive month in which remittances were below those of the same month in the previous year.

But many analysts believe that the situation could begin to improve by the second half of 2010 as the impact of a gradual US economic recovery begins to trickle down to industries that employ Mexican expatriates. One encouraging sign, said the central bank, is the increase of more than 17% in total remittances sent in February relative to those in January.

"This recovery can be explained by the increase in the total number of wire transfers in February, which totaled 4.885 million, an increase of 407,000 relative to January," said the Mexico City daily newspaper La Jornada.

Te average amount of money sent back to Mexico in February also increased. That average was US$317.03, compared with US$294.91 in January. "That figure is also higher than during December 2009, when it reached only US$298.87," said La Jornada.

US, Mexico promote plan to cut cost of wire transfers

Despite the decline in the amount of money expatriates sent to Mexico, financial intermediaries continue to benefit considerably from the wire transfers. …

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