With the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization numbers for July showing modest rises I believe we can tentatively call an end to the US recession. I say 'tentatively' because it is preferable to see these coincident indicators rise for a few months in a row to indicate a bottom rather than a head fake. Also payroll declines need to keep getting smaller. However it is normal for payrolls to continue to contract well after the recession has ended.
However this has hardly been a normal recession and thus prior recessions in the post WWII period may not be the most accurate guide. Whilst we have a tentative bottom in the US economy I am still very dubious about a sustained recovery given the headwinds facing the consumer and the continued deleveraging of the household and corporate sectors.