January 2, 2009 / 3:40 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Mexico migrant remittances fall in Nov

(Adds annual accumulated transfers and background)

MEXICO CITY, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Mexicans living abroad sent less money home in November compared with the same month a year ago, the central bank said on Friday.

Remittances, one of Mexico’s biggest sources of foreign currency, fell 10.68 percent in November to $1.607 billion, the bank said.

Migrant cash flows, which are a lifeline for millions of poor Mexican families, are expected to weaken more in the coming months as the U.S. economic slowdown hits Mexican workers living there.

A weakening in the U.S. construction and manufacturing sectors is weighing particularly heavily on migrants, whose jobless rate jumped higher than that of the general U.S. population during 2008.

Annual accumulated remittances by November 2008 were $21.577 billion, down 2.63 percent from the same period in 2007,

The drop in money sent back home is seen squeezing the slowing Mexican economy as migrants’ families spend less.

A drop in domestic demand this year is expected to add to pressure from falling exports due to the recession in the United States, Mexico’s top trading partner.

Mexico’s economy will likely shrink by 0.1 percent this year, according to the most recent monthly poll by the central bank, following a projected 2 percent growth rate for 2008. (Reporting by Michael O’Boyle, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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