What does data on Rainfall say about the agro-rural economy?

The Sales Pulse covers the entire pipeline of the agro-rural economy. Rural India is still primarily agrarian and farm output and employment have a major role to play in the consumption cycle. 


One of the first things to look at while understanding how the rural economy has fared is the adequacy or the lack of the rainfall. To enable this, the Sales Pulse tracks a metric called the Rainfall departures (%).

Rainfall departures measures the difference in the rainfall received in a particular district in a month as compared to the average rainfall received in the preceding 8 years. 

Why long term averages?

To measure the annual rainfall deficiency, the Indian Meteorological Department uses the 50-year long term average. This is primarily because annual rainfall is highly variable. A 50-year average is expected to smooth out the variations, while also accounting for freak weather events like the EL Nino and Nina. 

This acts as a benchmark against which the rainfall in any monsoon season is measured. The country is said to have received deficient annual rainfall if the actual rainfall falls below 90% of the LPA. Similarly, the country receives excess rainfall is the rainfall is greater than 110% of the LPA. It is deemed normal is the actual rainfall received falls between 96% and 104% of LPA.

However, while measuring the more granular rainfall deficiency as the Sales Pulse, which is a month to month or a fortnight to fortnight, it is compared with the last 8-year average so as to take into consideration the changing trends. 

In the next articles, we will cover the other important elements of the agro-rural pipeline and how Sales Pulse tracks all of these.