Not to take the wind out of Derek's sails (sorry Derek), but the NY Times has one of the coolest interactive charts I've ever seen. It also indicates that the recession might not last much longer. The below chart of industrial production is just a mere teaser. Follow the link and click through the slideshow to understand what the graph means. You will be amazed. At least, I was. Click through all nine slides, because the last one is the coolest.
If you followed the link, you saw that the graph above is not just a doodle on an economists' notepad from a boring meeting. It explains that industrial production might be predicting good times ahead. The crux of the argument can really be seen in the ninth slide. That one indicates that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's indicators lead actual recovery, but correlate strongly with industrial production.
Unless we continue swirling around for a while in that lower left quadrant, then we should be enter recovery before too long. For now, however, keep that champagne on ice. It's a little too soon to tell if the darkness is giving way, as even the OECD's indicators aren't in the right side of the chart yet. But they certainly seem to be headed in that direction. And if the future resembles the past, then industrial production will follow, as will the rest of the economy.