Stories from Wave 23

by Preetha Joseph

We conducted a webinar on the most recently completed round of the world’s largest household panel survey, the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey. Kaushik Krishnan, Chief Economist and Mahesh Vyas, MD and CEO of CMIE talked about Wave 23 of the Consumer Pyramids Households Survey on Thursday, September 23 2021 to a live audience through both Zoom and YouTube. Over 75 unique viewers joined us for the presentation across both platforms.

The video is now available on YouTube for anyone to watch. A PDF copy of the slideshow used is attached to this page.

What was presented?

Wave 23 of the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey was conducted from May 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021. Record-level data from Wave 23 was made available to subscribers on September 1, 2021. We discussed 3 stories about the data and 3 stories from the data of Wave 22.

  1. Stories about the data of Wave 23
    1. A larger sample: The CPHS sample was increased in five states to cover some survey strata that were not previously surveyed. By including these regions, CPHS now covers the landmass of India that contributed 99 per cent of its population as of the 2011 Census.
    2. Execution in the Lockdown: India experienced its second national lockdown during Wave 23. The lockdown impacted survey response rates. However, the lowest monthly response rate was higher than the lowest monthly response rate in the first lockdown, and the highest monthly response rate was higher than the highest monthly response rate in the first lockdown. That is, there was less disruption to survey execution in the second lockdown as compared to the first.
    3. Balance maintained: Despite the difficulty of surveying in lockdown conditions, CPHS managed to maintain balance in survey execution in Wave 23. Whether one measures balance in terms of fidelity to survey design or across income groups, occupation groups, education groups etc, CPHS did better on survey balance in Wave 23 as compared to Wave 22.
  2. Stories from the data of Wave 23
    1. Income and expenses: In Stories from Wave 22, we showed that incomes remained depressed after the first national lockdown. In particular, incomes until January 2021 were lower than the lowest point in 2019. This time, we showed that incomes continued to remain depressed until April 2021. In addition, household consumption expenditure is flat and lower than any value for 2018 and 2019 combined.
    2. Asset ownership: We showed that livestock ownership in rural India was lower than any previously recorded value in CPHS. It fell from a pre-lockdown value of over 50 per cent to just slightly above 30 per cent.
    3. Household debt: CPHS captures information on various purposes of household debt. One of them is to repay an earlier obligation. The fraction of households that currently have a debt only to pay off an earlier debt is above 5 per cent. This is the highest value ever records in CPHS.


The presentation was followed by a live question and answer session. 4 questions were asked by the audience, with all of them being answered during the session. We have compiled and answered all of them here:

Q: During the last two or three waves, did you encounter many households that had just moved away, especially in towns and cities?

A: Not in any perceptible way. It was not significantly above what we normally encounter.

Q: What could possibly explain the decline in livestock owenrship? Have families sold their livestock to make two ends meet?

A: Honestly, we do not know the answer to your question. Your guess could be as good as ours. We just have an observation that jumps out of the normal trend.

Q: What was the impact in supply of Milk, Meat , Eggs with decrease in ownership of livestock in rural areas?

A: We have not seen any impact on consumption of these. But, your question is worth investigating in more detail than just at a macro level.

Q: Do you also have information on value of assets?

A: No. We do not capture the value of assets.


Use of CMIE Product implies acceptance of the usage agreement & privacy policy   ♦   FAQs   ♦  Diagnosis