Mexico remittances plunge to record lows

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico says money sent home by citizens working abroad fell 19.9% in May, the biggest monthly decline since it started keeping records in 1996.

The central bank says remittances dropped to $1.9 billion from $2.37 billion in May 2008 as recession boosted unemployment in the neighboring United States, where nearly 12 million Mexican citizens live.

The amount of money sent home in the first five months of 2009 fell 11.3% to $9.2 billion compared with the same period last year.

Mexico is the world's third-biggest recipient of remittances after India and China. The cash flow is its second-largest source of foreign currency after oil exports.