NPR Story
2:01 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Mexican Shopper Spending Way Up

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — As Mexico’s economy continues to improve, a new study shows retailers in the United States are cashing in on Mexican spending sprees north of the border.

Mexican spenders dropped $2.7 billion in 2012, just in a 20-county border region in Texas.

The study, conducted by economist Steve Nivin of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, found a 13 percent increase in Mexican national spending from the prior year.

“One reason they are coming up here is that they like the price point and the quality of the items that they can get in the states that they can’t get or easily get in Mexico," Nivin said.

The study found 47 percent of the purchases are clothing — frequently high-end items. Nivin says in Mexico clothing tariffs can reach 1,000 percent. So the Mexican shoppers are finding bargains compared to back home.

Nivin also points out foreign shoppers are paying taxes while in the U.S., which pays for government services they aren’t using.

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