Nowcasting Food Prices in Indonesia Using Social Media Signals (2014)

PARTNERS: Indonesian Ministry of National Planning and Development (Bappenas) and UN World Food Programme (WFP)

PROGRAMME AREA: Food Security & Agriculture

LAB: Pulse Lab Jakarta

DOWNLOAD CASE STUDY:  UN Global Pulse, 'Nowcasting Food prices in Indonesia using Social Media Signals', Global Pulse Project Series no. 1, 2014 [PDF]


This project explored how Twitter data can be used to ‘nowcast’ or provide real-time food prices. Pulse Lab Jakarta collaborated with Bappenas and WFP on the study, the outcome of which was a statistical model of daily price indicators for four food commodities: beef, chicken, onion and chili. When the modeled prices were compared with official food prices, the figures were closely correlated, demonstrating that near real-time social media signals can function as a proxy for daily food price statistics. This preliminary study paves the way for further research on how social media analytics can complement traditional price data collection by offering a faster, more affordable and efficient way of collecting real-time food prices.

Access the project microsite at



RELATED: Read a blogpost about the project from Pulse Lab Jakarta.