Mexicans working abroad continue to send significant amounts of money home despite the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Remittances totaled US $3.57 billion in August, according to the Bank of México, a 5.3% increase compared to the same month last year and 1.2% more than July.
Between January and August, Mexicans working abroad, mainly in the United States, sent $26.39 billion home, the highest total on record for the first eight months of a year. The amount is 9.3% higher than the first eight months of 2019.
Remittances hit an all-time high in March at just over $4 billion and reached their second best level ever in June at $3.54 billion.
But the June level was exceeded by $30 million in August, meaning that month is now the second most significant in terms of money sent to Mexico from abroad.
According to the central bank, an average of $323 was sent in each remittance in August. The amount was the same as each average transfer in July.
Alberto Ramos, chief Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs, said in September that the economic downturn and rise in unemployment in the United States due to the pandemic didn’t appear to have impacted the flow of money south of the border.
Generous income support programs in the United States, the exchange rate and a deep contraction of economic activity and employment in Mexico may have acted as both “push and pull drivers” of dollar remittances, he said.
GDP contracted almost 20% in the second quarter and millions of people lost their jobs, making remittances even more important to the Mexican economy and low-income families, many of which have family members working abroad.
President López Obrador has described Mexican migrants as “heroes” and praised them in his second annual report for increasing their transfer of remittances to family in Mexico during the difficult economic times.