Monthly income and expenses data for May 2021 released
by Mahesh Vyas
Data for monthly income and monthly expenses for the month of May 2020 were released on October 1, 2020. I.e. the day immediately after the collection of this data was completed as scheduled, on September 30, 2020.
Household income and expenses data for May 2020 are available for 83,031 households. The sample size was 174,405 households. Because of the lockdown, responses could be collected only from 47.6 per cent of the households for the month of May 2020.
Data for the month of May 2020 was collected over the months of June, July, August and September 2020. The lockdown during these months was not as severe as it was in April and May. Therefore, the response rate has improved compared to the response rates for the income and expenses data for the preceding three months.
The response rate was the worst for the data collected for the month of March 2020. Data for March 2020 was collected partly during April and May when the lockdown was at its strictist. Severity of the lockdown implementation reduced but it was still quite strict in the remaining months of the implementation for March. As a result, the response rate for March 2020 was the lowest recorded by us. It was 39.2 per cent. The response size at 68,408 households was still quite healthy. This is the direct benefit of a large sample, a large and well-honed execution machinery with trained human resources spread across India.
Responses have improved since then. They rose to 76,386 households for April and now to 83,301 households for May.
The impact of the lockdown is evident all the way till the monthly data for November 2019. One fourth of the data for this month was collected in March 2020 when the lockdown had started having an impact on survey execution and therefore on the responses.
Before the lockdown cast its shadow on survey execution, response rates were systematically over 84 per cent. The average response rate between May and October 2019 was 84.5 per cent. The decline began in November and reached its nadir in March 2020. It has been recovering since then. The May 2020 data released now is the second month of a recovery in the response rate.
We expect substantial recovery in the response rate and the responding sample size for the June 2020 data which is scheduled to be released on November 1, 2020.
Besides household income and household expenses data for May 2020, data for member-wise income for the month of May 2020 have also been released. Data for household income and member-wise income are collected together along with household expenses.
This data set includes the source-wise income on 416,973 members. This is a very large sample. Yet, it is smaller than the sample size for a normal month. The sample size was 723,649 members a year ago, for May 2019. Member-wise income data was systematically over 720,000 before the lockdown. It went down to 341,366 members for March 2020. It has been improving over the past two months.