Saturday, December 2, 2023

Once again, remittances set a new record; July’s total up 28% at US $4.54 billion

Remittances sent to Mexico hit a new monthly record of US $4.54 billion in July, a 28.6% increase compared to the same month last year.

It was the second time this year that a new monthly record was set after Mexicans working abroad, mainly in the United States, transferred $4.51 billion in May.

It was also the 15th consecutive month that remittances – a key driver of the Mexican economy and the country’s second biggest source of foreign currency after auto exports – increased on an annual basis.

The central bank reported that remittances sent to Mexico in the first seven months of 2021 totaled just under $28.19 million, a 23.5% increase compared to the same period of 2020. A 12-month-record of $45.97 billion flowed into the country between August 2020 and July 2021.

A recovering United States economy and government stimulus in that country have driven record levels of remittances this year.

Line graph indicates the annual variation. opportimes/bank of méxico

“Stronger growth in the U.S. than in Mexico increases remittances to Mexico. And this is precisely what we have seen,” said Carlos Capistrán, a Bank of America economist.

“We expect remittances to continue strong for the rest of the year and probably next [year] as well,” he said.

The Bank of México said that 99% of remittances between January and July were sent electronically. There were 11.6 million transactions in July with each worth $391 on average.

The central bank also reported that $95 million in remittances flowed out of Mexico in July, a 60.3% increase compared to the same month last year.

Delivering his third annual report to the nation on Wednesday, President López Obrador boasted of record remittances as if they represented an achievement of his government, according to the head of a United States-based migrants’ group.

But he should in fact be ashamed of the record-breaking remittance levels because they were sent by Mexicans who couldn’t find work in Mexico or fled violence, Carlos Arango, president of the Frente Nacional de Inmigrantes (National Immigrants Front), told the newspaper El Universal.

He also said that López Obrador should be ashamed of boasting about remittances when his government has not adequately supported Mexico’s consular network in the United States. Consulates are not offering passport services and have no funds to repatriate the bodies of Mexicans who have died in the United States, said Arango, whose organization represents some 20 migrants’ groups with a combined membership of more than 1 million.

The president, who frequently refers to Mexican migrants as heroes, is taking credit for the work of millions of Mexicans who live and work abroad, he said.

“It is now his custom to say that it is an achievement of his government every time there is an upturn or record [in remittances], but we’re abandoned here without consular protection, facing raids to deport compatriots and he says nothing. His discourse is a farce,” Arango said.

“I believe that it’s a lack of respect. He only remembers migrants when there are remittances and he remains silent when there are abuses against Mexicans [abroad].”

With reports from El Universal 

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