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Money remittances by Mexicans plunged 18% in April

Friday, June 5th 2009 - 05:36 UTC
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Remittances are Mexico’s second source of hard currency behind tourism. Remittances are Mexico’s second source of hard currency behind tourism.

Money sent home by Mexicans living abroad plunged in April by more than 18% compared to the same period last year, the biggest monthly fall on record, the central bank said this week.

Remittances fell to 1.7 billion US dollars in April 2009 compared to 2.1 billion in April 2008, according to the bank. It said the US recession has hurt migrants in the United States, while fewer Mexicans are heading north because of a lack of jobs and a crackdown on illegal immigration.

Last year was the first time remittances have dropped year-to-year since the bank started tracking the money 13 years ago in 1996. Mexico's second largest legal source of foreign income after oil, remittances plunged 3.6% to 25 billion US dollars in 2008 compared to 26 billion in 2007.

Remittances for the first four months of 2009 have dropped more than 8%, totaling 7.2 billion compared to 7.9 billion for the same period last year.

The global financial crisis has caused remittances to fall worldwide. Mexico is the world's third largest receptor of remittances, after India and China. Nearly 12 million Mexicans live in the United States.

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