Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Remittances to Mexico declined in November, but annual growth trend continues

A half-year streak of remittances to Mexico in excess of US $5 billion per month came to an end in November when the amount of money sent home by Mexicans abroad totaled “only” US $4.8 billion, a 10.4% decrease compared to October.

However, the November 2022 figure was still 3% higher than the total remittances sent in November 2021.

Though final figures for 2022 won’t be published until next month, the total amount of money received from abroad by Mexican families from January through November was US $53.14 billion.

That’s an increase of 13.5% over the US $46.83 billion received during the same period in 2021, according to the Bank of México (Banxico).

migrant farmworkers
President López Obrador has described Mexican workers who send home money to their families as “heroes”. David A Litman / Shutterstock.com

However, November marked a bit of a cool-down period after sizzling totals in the six months of May through October. “After a series of record months,” Reuters reported, the November fall-off came “amid fears of a global economic slowdown.”

The streak of increases in remittances started in May 2020, and had continued for 31 straight months — at least based on comparing a month to the same month in the previous year. 

The upward trend actually began two months earlier, at the start of the pandemic. In March 2020, Mexicans received in excess of US $4 billion of remittances in a single month for the first time ever, according to an EFE media report.

President López Obrador, who had predicted that remittances would reach US $60 billion by the end of 2022, has been a vocal supporter of money sent home from abroad “in the midst of weak domestic economic growth and high inflation,” Reuters wrote. “It remains to be seen if the November slowdown in remittances translates into stalling overseas support for Mexican families.”

For January through November, a total of 136 million remittances for an average of US $390 each was received. For the same period in 2021, the total was 124 million remittances for an average of US $378.

The total amount of remittances received in Mexico for all of 2019 was US $36.44 billion, then in 2020 rose to US $40.6 billion, and reached US $51.59 billion in 2021 — the US $53.14 billion received in the first 11 months of 2022 has already beaten those totals.

Nearly 4.9 million Mexican households and some 11.1 million adults receive remittances from relatives abroad, according to figures from the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA).

The money represents Mexico’s No. 2 source of income from outside the country, behind automotive exports and ahead of a Mexican agricultural sector that contributes 3% of GDP (gross domestic product).

With reports from El Diario, Infobae and Reuters

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