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Lower US prices lure visitors

Mexico City is stamping out about 1,500 visas to the US each day, a 25 percent increase over last year. The traffic is stepping up, particularly in this pre-Christmas season.

The lure of family ties, varied resorts, and world-famous vacation spots account for much of the seasonal exodus. But lower US consumer prices are the major reason behind the visa flow, say Mexican bank and government officials.

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A report of the Bank of Mexico shows that relative prices are cheaper on some things in the US. Deluxe hotel rates, as one example, offer an average saving of about 8 percent compared with Mexican prices.