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At US $4 billion, remittances from workers abroad hit a record in March

The figure, up 36% over March of last year, has surprised experts

Despite economic unrest and massive unemployment in the U.S. due to the coronavirus, remittances to Mexico reached their all-time high in March, the Bank of México reports, rising to US $4.02 billion.

The amount is a 35.8% increase over the same month in 2019, and up 49% from the US $2.69 billion sent home by Mexican workers in February of this year. 

The increase was puzzling to experts such as Goldman Sachs economist Alberto Ramos who wrote, “The significant acceleration of remittances in March is difficult to square with labor market conditions and sentiment in the U.S.” in a note to investors, adding that the weakened peso and mounting financial uncertainty for those working in the U.S. may have prompted many to send more of their savings back home.

Thus far this year total remittances are up 18.8% to U.S. $9.29 billion. The average remittance is around US $378, up from US $321 in February.

But sending money home at this level may not last as the U.S. veers toward a recession. 

According to information from Grupo Financiero Banorte, some 299,839 Mexican migrants in the U.S. lost their jobs in March, among whom 36,179 were documented. 

In 2019, US $36 billion in remittances was sent back to Mexico and along with oil and tourism are a pillar of Mexico’s economy.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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