Remittances sent home by Mexicans living abroad climbed to an eight-and-a-half year high in March as workers remain on the edge over President Donald Trump’s stance on immigration and trade with the US’s southern neighbour.
Mexicans sent home $2.52bn in March, a 15 per cent increase over the amount transferred during the same period in 2016, according to data from Mexico’s central bank. The figure easily topped the $2.28bn the market was expecting and represents the highest monthly level since October 2008.
It is not immediately clear what contributed to the spike seen in March. But remittances to Mexico have consistently turned in year-on-year increases before and after Mr Trump’s election victory in November.
Last year’s record $26.97bn in remittances surpassed the previous peak of $26.06bn recorded in 2007.
Some analysts cite the US economic recovery and the sharp drop in the peso immediately after Mr Trump’s election as factors driving remittance flows. Others suggest that the rush to send money home is being fanned by concerns that Mr Trump would make good on his campaign threat to make Mexico pay for the construction of his $10bn border wall by blocking a portion of the money Mexicans send home to their friends and families.
The threat was underscored by Mike Rogers, a Republican congressman from Alabama, who introduced a bill at the end of March that would impose a 2 per cent fee on all remittances headed to Mexico to fund Mr Trump’s border wall.