In the UK, taking into account inflation, I'd say film, especially slide film, is somewhat cheaper than it was. With the much lowered economies of scale, you'd expect the prices to go up, but in the UK at least, they do not appeared to have. I imagine both major makers spend much less on marketing than they used to, maybe that's got a lot to do with it.

The economic situation can help as much as it can hurt. In the UK, interest rates have plummeted and the cost of borrowing has increased. However, this means that my mortgage has roughly halved every month, making me a lot better off each month. The same is for businesses, if they have a mortgage on their property, it's possible they have never had it so good. If you can keep your sales up (which many companies in the UK have, like John Lewis), then "the economic crisis" is anything but.