The economy has fallen off a cliff, but there are at least some hopeful indications that we might not have too much further to fall. Both Calculated Risk and Econbrowser have posted graphs indicating that the severe credit crunch evident during September has eased, and while the indicators haven't gone back to normal, they are at least out of the panic zone.
In addition to those, both monetary indicators I have been tracking now point to recovery.
First is the Kasriel indicator I have been tracking for the last few months.
Whenever inflation (blue line) has been less than the expansion in M1 (red line) for at least 3 months, by at least 1%, (together with a positive yield curve in the bond market one year previously) a recovery has taken place. This is not just true in the post-WW2 era, but it is also true, at least on an annual basis, during the Great Depression (I haven't yet crunched all of the monthly numbers for the 1930s, so take this indicator with an extra grain of salt).
Second is the expansion of bank loans compared with M2.
With the sole exception of the "w" shaped 2001 recession, since WW2 whenever M2 (red line) has exceeded loans (blue line), a recovery has started.
In addition to the positive yield curve from one year ago (the reliability of which during deflation is in serious question), all of the monetary indicators I track now point towards recovery, and soon.
One other item of good news (more like bad news that didn't happen) is that, unlike the denouncement to Black September, when forced liquidations to meet hedge fund redemptions caused a market crash during early October, there was no evidence of large forced hedge fund redemptions during the January window that just closed.
Two other indicators do not confirm the monetary indicators at this time. Leading economic indicators, needless to say, are still bad (this week's data re pitiful work hours will add to that pain). We won't know about real relative residential investment (its decline now vs. a year ago) until the initial report of Q3 GDP is released at the end of this month.
And of course, even if it turns out that there are a couple of quarters of positive GDP growth ahead, the misery of layoffs and unemployment, being lagging indicators, will continue to worsen substantially.