By Anthony Harrup
MEXICO CITY -- Money sent home by Mexicans working abroad jumped nearly 25% in November, a month in which the peso reached its weakest level against the U.S. dollar and Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, raising concerns about actions his government may take against migrants and remittances.
Mexicans sent home $2.36 billion in November, compared with $1.9 billion in November of 2015, the central bank said Monday. It was the biggest increase since March 2006, when remittances rose 27% from a year before.
The increase brought remittances for the first 11 months of 2016 to $24.6 billion, a 9% increase that put full-year transfers on track to beat the record $26.1 billion registered in 2007. More than 95% of remittances come from the U.S.
Grupo Financiero Banorte predicted a big jump in November, and said it expects that the effect will continue in December and January.
"We think the strong growth in remittances is mainly explained by the U.S. election results, as Mexican migrants without citizenship are probably taking into account a higher probability of being deported," Banorte said in a report.
Migrant workers also tend to take advantage of swings in the exchange rate to increase transfers, as recipients get more pesos for their dollars.
The peso fell further to new lows against the U.S. dollar after the U.S. election, given Mr. Trump's campaign promises to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, expel illegal immigrants and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement under more favorable terms for the U.S.
Goldman Sachs said November remittances grew nearly 50% in peso terms.
"A weak peso is boosting remittances, but we also do not rule out that many senders could be strategically front-loading these transfers in anticipation of potential restrictions and/or taxation of remittances by the incoming U.S. administration," the bank said in a note.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 02, 2017 11:26 ET (16:26 GMT)
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