Mexican workers abroad sent a record amount of money back to their home country in March, with remittances reaching $4.15 billion, Bloomberg reported.
That amount was aided by the U.S. stimulus checks from the $1.9 trillion package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year. Remittances were up 31 percent from February, according to Bloomberg, which cited central bank data released Monday (May 3).
In addition, the numbers were roughly 2.6 percent higher than they had been at the same time last year, topping the median forecast by Bloomberg of $3.81 billion.
The pandemic has seen a large amount of remittances to Mexico, which is the opposite of what analysts expected, Bloomberg reported. Latino families have suffered punishing economic consequences from the virus, and analysts thought remittances would fall off. But instead, stimulus measures kept them going.
“The expectation of continued fiscal stimulus and robust growth profile in the U.S. should keep remittances flow strong in 2021,” Alberto Ramos, head of Latin America Economics at Goldman Sachs, wrote in a research note, per Bloomberg. “Solid workers’ remittance flows have been adding support to the current account and to private consumption, particularly for low-income families, who have a high propensity to consume and are the overwhelming recipients of such transfers.”
And things kept getting better for Mexican immigrants as the vaccines started rolling out, which improved their job prospects as the economy recovered some in the early part of 2021. The number of employed Mexican workers has increased by 275,000 since March of last year, according to numbers by the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies cited by Bloomberg.
In February, remittances to Mexico topped $3 billion, and that was an increase from the $2.7 billion from the same time in 2020.
Last year, there was a total of $40.61 billion in remittances sent to Mexico, and flows will likely remain strong.