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New Study Seeking Insight Into Economic Impact Of Mexican Nationals In U.S.

Flickr user freefotouk (Ian Britton)

Economists have long been aware that retail spending by Mexican nationals shopping in the U.S. adds significant dollars to local economies, but a new study seeks to expand those numbers for a broader view of the impact of Mexican dollars on  San Antonio.

A study last year led by Texas State University found that Mexican nationals shopping in Texas during the holidays spent about twice as much as domestic shoppers. It also calculated the greater impact of those shoppers who stayed overnight in the U.S.

Ramiro Cavasos, president of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said there is more information beyond shopping that has until now eluded economists:

"They’re buying homes, they’re accessing health services, they’re buying cars, their kids are going to college and school here and many of them are starting businesses here. But we have no idea what that economic impact is of the Mexican national on San Antonio," Cavasos said. "Right now, it’s pure speculation."

Cavasos said empresarios opening new businesses in San Antonio affect the local economy in other ways -- by using the airport, local banks, local vendors and hiring local workers.

The new study, being conducted by VISA Credit Card, also will include the estimated cash expenditures by Mexican nationals; information that was obtained through surveys by the Federal Reserve Bank.

The Hispanic Chamber hopes to announce the results of the VISA study in mid-to-late April.