Forgive us while we take another quick and gratuitous look at today's disastrous Empire Index, but we wanted to bring a very important point highlighted by Stone McCarthy: "You usually don't get three straight months of negative results unless you are in a recession (Note: NY Fed historical data only started in July 2001)." SMRA continues: "If that's not bad enough for you, the forward-looking new orders index fell to -7.8 in August, after posting -5.5 in July and -3.6 in June. Not only is the latest reading a new low in the recent string of negative results, it's also the third straight month of contraction." In other words when the NBER finally sits down to look at the disaster that the US economy has been over the past several years, the start of the next re-recession will likely be given as June 2011, oddly enough in a year when every sell side bank predicted that the economy would grow by at least 3.5% by Q4. As for what to expect next, look for the Philly Fed to be the next major leading indicator disappointment, which based on the NY Fed result, will miss Wall Street expectations of a +2.0% increase yet once gain, and which SMRA believes will drop from 3.2 in July to -3.4 in August.