MEXICO CITY – Remittances from Mexican emigrants totaled $2.13 billion in May, up 11.9 percent from the same month of 2009, the biggest year-on-year advance since October 2008 and ahead of analysts’ expectations, the Mexican central bank said.
Banks such as Ixe had forecast that the May figure would come in at around $1.97 billion.
The Banco de Mexico also said Thursday that the number of remittance transactions rose 7.4 percent relative to May 2009, while the average amount of the money transfers grew 4.3 percent to $315.75.
Ixe said in a report that the increase in remittances in May was given a boost by Mother’s Day, a very important date for Mexicans.
Remittances to Mexico were up 19.2 percent in May compared to April, but remittances for the first five months of the year were down 4.63 percent relative to January-May 2009.
Ixe said it expects $21.18 billion worth of remittances to be sent to Mexico in 2010, which would be a 4.34 percent increase over last year.
“Going forward, our expectation is that remittances will continue to grow (favored in part by a low base of comparison), although risks ... are prevalent,” the document signed by analysts Luis Flores and Lucia Martin read.
According to the experts, “the labor outlook in the United States has become gloomier in the past few weeks.”
For example, they noted that the U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday that applications for unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose by more than 13,000 in the week ending June 28 to 472,000, compared with analysts’ expectations of 452,000 applications.
The main driver of remittances to Mexico “will be employment in the manufacturing and construction sector (where 36 percent of immigrants are employed) in the United Sates,” the Mexican bank said.
Remittances are an essential source of income for many Mexican families.
“Remittances mask the true problem in Mexico: the lack of good jobs,” the report said. EFE