Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 10:58 UK

Mexicans sending home less money

Dollar notes
Mexican migrant workers are sending less money home to their families

The slowing of the US economy and the fall in the dollar has led to a sharp drop in the amount of money that Mexicans are sending home.

Remittances suffered their sharpest fall on record, down by 6.9% in July compared to the same month year before, according to Mexico's central bank.

This money is the country's second largest legal source of foreign income after oil revenues.

Over 20% of Mexican migrants work in the troubled US construction industry.

The Director of Economic Measurement for Mexico's Central bank, Jesus Cervantes, said that the job situation for Mexicans working in the US had become more complicated since the US mortgage crisis.

Families in Mexico who depend on the income sent to them from workers abroad are also suffering from the unfavourable exchange rate of the Mexican peso against the US dollar - with the US dollar falling 8% this year.

Mexico's central bank said remittances for the first seven months of the year are 2.9% below what they were in 2007.

Flows of remittances from the US to Mexico are among the largest flows among all migrant workers worldwide.

Overall, remittances from workers to their home countries make up an estimated $300bn, three times the level of foreign aid.

Mexico caps price of basic foods
19 Jun 08 |  Business
Country profile: Mexico
01 Apr 08 |  Country profiles
US woes slow migrant remittances
12 Mar 08 |  Americas

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