Experts say that chocolate may be a good barometer of the way many businesses probably feel about the current economic climate.
It is made from imported cocoa, whose price on world markets has surged as the dollar has weakened. It is costly to distribute, and those expenses have climbed with rising fuel prices. And it is a pure consumer good sold to customers feeling the pain of precisely the same pressures.
All of which adds up to a simple and sobering verdict about the real state of the economy.