Mexican remittances jump to record high in October

MEXICO CITY, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Mexican migrants sent home a record $2.643 billion in October, a 19 percent increase compared to the same month last year, following a sharp depreciation of the peso during the month, central bank data showed on Friday.

Remittances in October were the highest for any month in data going back to 1995, eclipsing a previous record of $2.638 billion in October 2008.

Mexico’s peso weakened sharply against the dollar in October due to concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump could move to end the nearly 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has underpinned Mexican export growth.

Mexican migrants, who mostly live in the United States, have traditionally sent more money back home whenever the peso has sharp losses as then their dollars buy more local currency.

The 19 percent increase in October this year was the biggest since November last year, when the peso sank to a record low after Trump’s surprise election victory.

So far in 2017, remittances have totaled $23.9 billion, up more than 7 percent compared to the first 10 months of 2016.

Remittances are one of Mexico’s top sources of foreign currency, alongside earnings from manufactured exports, oil and foreign direct investment. (Reporting by Noe Torres; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)