Remittances to Mexico continue to fall
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The amount of money that Mexicans living and working in the United States send home to their families south of the border is continuing to drop.
Remittances fell to $1.9 billion for August, a 12.2% drop from the same month last year.
‘In the coming months, it can be anticipated that ... family remittances will continue to show a loss in strength,’ Mexico’s central bank said.
Remittances are Mexico’s second-largest source of foreign income, after oil exports, and they have more than doubled in value in recent years, to nearly $24 billion in 2007. The money is used to pave roads, start businesses and help feed families, reports Tracy Wilkinson today.
But the trend began to reverse this year. The U.S. economic downturn, especially in the construction sector, which \employs many Mexican immigrants, and tightened controls along the U.S.-Mexican border have slowed the flow of money and people.
August’s decline in remittances was the largest since authorities began keeping records 12 years ago, the bank said.
Countless Mexican towns are feeling the pinch, with small businesses failing and families struggling to make ends meet.
-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City