A couple of months ago, I analyzed the data from the Phillie Fed survey, which showed the fastest 3 month deterioration in the index since it began in 1968. After a small bounce last month, the wheels have completely come off. Expectations were for a reading of +2, signifying slight growth (more like a mild swelling), but it came in at -30.7! That signifies a deep recession as those are the levels it was at in the November 2008-March 2009 period. The future expectations index, which is generally more positive (as people are generally positive) came in at a paltry 1.4, the lowest since November 2008. As you can see from the chart below, things just aren't pretty:
Update: So I looked at the historical data more closely. Every reading of the Philly Fed survey of this magnitude has either meant we were in a recession or heading into one within 6 months. I also looked to see at what reading point does it look like there is a significant chance of us either being in a recession or heading into one. It looks that with a reading of -11.8 or worse there is an 89% chance of us being in a recession or heading into one. If you take into account the 3 readings that were within 3 months of the end of the previous recession, the odds go up to 93%. Again, note the reading is at -30.7, a level at which there was never a false reading.