The same ones constitute the second source of currencies for Mexico, after the oil exports, and surpass the amounts of different foreign investments done throughout the country. Inclusively, it had been debated during the last years that the power of remittances could supplant the income of the Mexican oil exports.
According to numbers of the Banco de Mexico, in 2004, more than 13 billion dollars entered Mexico as result of money transferences sent by Mexican immigrants who reside in cities like New York and Philadelphia. In the first four months of this year the same remittances surpassed the 4,600 million dollars, which meant an increase of 23% in comparison with the same months of the previous year.
The remittances have become the base for the sustenance of millions of Mexican families, with more than 20 % of the Mexican adult population being supported because of them. The remittances are determined by their stability and confidence, since, even in recent periods of economic recession in the United States, the amount of workers who sent money to Mexico, as well as the volume of currencies, reached historical numbers.
The remittances have two clearly know effects in the production that is carried out in Mexico: They increase the direct investment in diverse economic activities, which exceed 90 million dollars annually. They increase, indirectly, the investment in plants, equipment and labor work force to take care of the additional demand of consumer goods. Approximately 78% of the remittances are destined to the basic familiar consumption. A 7% is designated for the education of the little ones who could not immigrate to the United States along with their Mexican parents. The 8% of the remittances is directed to family savings. A 4% is destined for the purchase of luxury goods and a 2 % for the purchase of a house or any investment. About 60% of these Mexican adult immigrants -about 10 million people- make 12 shipments of money per year, in which they send between $150 and $300 dollars. The increase in the use of electronic transferences instead of other instruments has had much height due to the rapidity whereupon the money is located in Mexico, which can be a question of minutes, and due to the security of the money itself, referring to issues of transportation and destination. Latin America is the receiving market of remittances with greater growth in the world.
Previous studies have reflected that other immigrant groups residing in New York, Philadelphia and other American cities -like Colombians, Salvadorians, Dominicans, Venezuelans, and others- send up to 18 % of their earnings in the form of remittances to their native countries, which constitutes a great relief for the families of these people, because many of them live in conditions of extreme poverty.
It is estimated that the total income of Latin American immigrants in the United States is around 450 billion dollars. An agreement between the government of American president, George W. Bush, and of Mexican president, Vicente Fox, has guaranteed the reduction of the shipment cost and initiated the flow and better use of the important international economic element.
Mexico and the United States recognize the importance of the remittances. Both countries see in them a multiplying resource.
The Mexican government offers, by conduit of the National Commission for the Protection and the Defense of the Users of Financial Services (CONDUSEF, Spanish acronym) information through its electronic page (www.condusef.gob.mx) and telephone attention in the United States with information in Spanish (1-877-FTC-HELP).