Mexico received $21.59 billion in remittances from emigrants in 2013, a figure that was down 3.7 percent compared to 2012, the Bank of Mexico said.

The 2013 figure did not surpass the $22.44 billion in remittances received in 2012 even though the flow had been trending higher since August.

Nearly 74 million transactions were registered in 2013, with the average remittance totaling $292, the central bank said.

Remittances rose 3.5 percent to $5.34 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, compared to the same period in 2012, with 18.4 million transactions and an average amount of $285.30, the Bank of Mexico said.

Analysts had projected a drop in remittances in 2013, but they are expecting a rebound this year.

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. EFE