EFEMexico City

Remittances sent to Mexico by emigrants totaled $5.7 billion in the first quarter, up 4.9 percent compared to the same period last year, the Bank of Mexico said.

The average remittance was $297.53 in the January-March period, up slightly from the $296.10 average registered in the same period in 2014.

The number of transactions climbed from 18.44 million in the first quarter of 2014 to 19.25 million in the same period this year, with the majority of remittances sent via electronic funds transfers, the central bank said.

Mexico received $23.64 billion in remittances in 2014, a figure that was up 8 percent from 2013.

Remittances sent by Mexicans living abroad, mainly in the United States, are the country's second-largest source of foreign exchange, after oil, and help cover the living expenses of millions of people.