Mexicans in U.S. send record amount of cash home

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A record amount of cash was sent to Mexico in 2017 by its citizens living abroad, with most of the money provided by those living in the United States.

The record amount of remittances was likely attributable to Mexico’s weak currency, the peso, which is valued at a near all-time low, and President Donald Trump’s threat to tax cash transfers from the U.S. to Mexico, KVOA TV reported.

From January to November 2017, Mexicans remitted $26.1 billion, according to data released Tuesday by the central bank of Mexico, beating the 2016 same-period total of $24.1 billion. Remittances totaled $2.6 billion in October, the highest for any month in 2017.

Remittances are Mexico’s primary source of foreign income, topping oil exports which earned the country $18.5 billion between January and October 2017.

According to economists, Trump’s threat to tax Mexican remittances to fund his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border prompted Mexicans to send money home ahead of the implementation of such a tax.

The September earthquake in and around Mexico City likely triggered additional remittances sent to assist relatives with recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Remittances represent a key source of income for millions of Mexicans living in some of the country’s poorest states, which receive the most funds from Mexican citizens living abroad.

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