On May 26, the Bureau of Labor Statistics requested that OMB provide a 180-day emergency clearance to add questions to the Consumer Expenditure Quarterly (CEQ) survey on household receipt and expenditure of COVID stimulus payments. OMB approved the request on May 29.
BLS indicates: These questions are necessary to measure the effect of the stimulus payments sent directly to many households in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Addition of the questions described below are needed to facilitate a timely and effective collection of expenditure data resulting from the stimulus. Economic data are used to evaluate the intended effect of the stimulus and to adequately explain changes in expenditure patterns that result from the coronavirus pandemic.
Together, the questions will capture: 1) the receipt of the stimulus payments, 2) by which members of the Consumer Unit (CU), 3) the month the CU received the stimulus, 4) the amount of the stimulus, 5) how the CU received the stimulus (direct deposit or check), 6) the primary use of the stimulus and 7) whether any additional stimulus checks were received by the CU.
As with past special data collections, such as the addition of stimulus questions in 2009, BLS plans to summarize the findings from the coronavirus pandemic stimulus questions and make them available to the public. Analysis will include the change in household spending caused by receipt of the stimulus payments including durable and non-durable goods. A similar analysis was completed following the addition of stimulus questions in 2009. The raw data will also be released to the public and made available through microdata files.
The BLS will publish its analysis of the quality of collected data including unit nonresponse, record usage rates, item nonresponse, number of rounded items, edit flag rates, average perceived burden, and average perceived length before and after coronavirus pandemic data collection changes.
Proposed CEQ stimulus questions: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/DownloadDocument?objectID=101365100
Supporting Statement: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewDocument?ref_nbr=202005-1220-003
Point of Contact: Laura Erhard, Branch Chief, Research and Program Development, Consumer Expenditure Surveys, Bureau of Labor Statistics firstname.lastname@example.org