Remittances to Mexico Surge 9.2 pct in August

Mexico received $2.13 billion in remittances in August, a figure that was up 9.2 percent on an annual basis in dollars and marked the largest increase in the past 12 months, the Bank of Mexico said.

The number beat analysts' consensus estimates of a 2.9 percent rise in remittances in August, figures from Banamex, a unit of U.S.-based Citigroup, show.

The remittances received in August were the largest since May 2010 in nominal terms, Spanish banking giant BBVA said in a report.

The average remittance and the total number of remittances sent by Mexicans living abroad rose 4.4 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

The average remittance rose to $340, a figure exceeded in recent years only in February and March 2009, and in March of this year, BBVA said.

August is traditionally a strong month for remittances because of the start of the school year in Mexico, BBVA, which has a research unit that focuses on migration, said.

Employment among Hispanics grew at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent, or slightly more than 160,000 jobs, in August in the United States, marking the best performance of the year, BBVA said.

Remittances to Mexico grew at an annualized rate of 4.9 percent during the first eight months of 2011.

The economic slowdown in the United States, however, could lead "some of the sectors in which Mexican migrants work to start showing negative signs," affecting the flow of remittances, BBVA said.

Remittances should grow 4.7 percent in dollar terms in 2011, BBVA said.

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