New Indicator: Alert for Price Spikes

The Alert for Price Spikes (or ALPS)  has arrived.  And with it, comes this excellent new technical guidance note.

But what is the ALPS?   It is a new price indicator within WFP's food price database.  

And what does it do?  A few things.  The ALPS indicator:

  • detects abnomally high levels of local food prices for staple commodities;
  • indicates the number of markets experiencing high food prices in a country;
  • allows comparison between markets at the same time, and over different periods for the same market.

Added value:  As food prices begin to increase abnormally several months before their crisis level, the ALPS enables the detection of signs of looming food price crises.  It can be used both to monitor market dynamics and to track food security changes.

For the analyst, the ALPS technical guidance will be useful as it:

1) highlights the advantages of ALPS,

2) explains the methodology behind the indicator, and

3) explains the how to use the indicator.