Which way is the economy going to go in 2009? I'm scared to find out. But meanwhile, I'm going to keep an eye on this week's NYT article on maple syrup. The food section reports that two bad harvests and better marketing (overseas) have raised the price a lot, but it's going to skyrocket this year. The causes are meager stocks and rising demand. (The marketing efforts have spurred sales in Asia. Watch for maple syrup in Thai dishes.)
On the other hand, it's quite common right now for the disastrous economy to shrink a market. How can anyone be certain of a rising demand? I love maple syrup, but I'm not going to pay triple the price for it. I'll be watching my local supermarkets for this economic bellwether.