Monthly income and expenses data for June 2020 released
Data for monthly income and monthly expenses for the month of June 2020 were released on November 1, 2020. i.e. the day immediately after the collection of this data ended as scheduled, on October 31, 2020.
Household income and expenses data for June 2020 are available for 102,014 households. The sample size was 174,405 households. Because of the lockdown, responses could be collected only from 58.49 per cent of the households for the month of June 2020.
The monthly income and expenses data are based on attempts at collecting responses from all households in the sample. Data for the entire sample cannot be collected within a month. It is collected over a four month period. The collection begins in the beginning of the month following the month for which the data is to be collected. This is because households would know about their income and expenses in a month only after the month concludes.
One-fourth of the total sample of households of the entire sample are slotted to be surveyed in each of the four months following the month for which data is being collected. As a result, data on income earned and expenses incurred during a given month is collected over a four-month period beginning in the month following the month for which the data is being collected. This is done systematically for all months for all households as per a detailed execution plan.
To illustrate, data for the month of June 2020 was collected over the months of July, August, September and October 2020. These are the four month-slots for collection of data for June 2020. The lockdown during these month slots was not as severe as it was in April, May and June. Therefore, the response rate has improved compared to the response rates for the income and expenses data for the preceding five months. As is evident from the table presented below, responses for data collected for the month of June 2020 improved from 49.2 per cent and 48 per cent in the first two month-slots, July 2020 and August 2020 to 64.4 per cent in September and then to 72.9 per cent in October 2020.
We made an important change in the way we deliver monthly income and expenses data beginning this month. So far, monthly data was released every month after the data collection ended for that month. However, a few households that could not be surveyed during the slotted month do get surveyed in subsequent months of the Wave. Hitherto, data of such households that were surveyed after the scheduled data collection was over were released only after the Wave was completed. These are the final releases after which there are no revisions to the data. Beginning this month, we have started releasing updates to the past monthly data of the running Wave to the extent there were new households surveyed for such months. As a result, users of the data will continue to receive updates for a few months to past monthly data of the current Wave.
In this context it is useful to know that Waves end in April, September and December. As a result, the first release of data for January will now be updated with data of additional households when the data of February and March are released and its final data will be released along with the April data. The first release of February will similarly updated when the first release of March is made and then its final release will be with the April data. The first release of the March data will be updated with additional data when the April data is released. The data for April is the final data when it is released. This progressive release of updated data is better than saving all the data for additional households and members till the end of four months.
As a result of these changes, monthly data for May that were released last month have been updated. The sample size has gone up from 99,201 to 102,014.
The impact of the lockdown is evident from the monthly data for November 2019. One fourth of the data for this month was collected for households in the month slot of March 2020 when the lockdown had started having an impact on survey execution and therefore on the responses.
Similarly, monthly data for December 2019 includes households slotted for execution in April 2020. Response rates dropped to their lowest for households slotted for April 2020, after which there has been a steady rise. They were 30 per cent in April and have grown gradually to over 70 per cent in October. We are finally beginning to escape the long shadow cast by the lockdown on survey execution.