Mexicans abroad sent home $23.6 billion in 2014, up from about $21.9 billion the year before. Remittances had dropped 3.7 percent in 2013 from the previous year.
Remittances are among Mexico’s main sources of foreign income, along with oil exports.
Almost all of the remittances come from the more than 11 million Mexicans living in the United States, making the health of that country’s economy key to what is sent back to Mexico.
“The remittances don’t depend on the exchange rate, nor on business opportunities in Mexico, but rather completely on the condition of the U.S. economy,” Alfredo Coutino, Latin America director for Moody’s Analytics, said in an email.
Unlike 2013, when things were erratic, the U.S. economy performed better in 2014, though it closed the year with moderate growth. U.S. GDP grew 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 5 percent in the third quarter.
“The Mexican worker in the United States just wants a paying job so that he can send money to his family in Mexico,” Coutino said. “He doesn’t care about the exchange rate. In this sense, the recovery of the U.S. economy in 2014 determined the increase in remittances.”
In December alone, remittances totaled nearly $2.2 billion, an increase of nearly 19 percent from the same month a year earlier.