At ZH, we have been focusing a lot on aggregate demand and production numbers in our recent macro posts. Paul Swartz released some great data on Monday to put the current recession/depression/D-process in perspective to other historical down cycles in the economy.
What's interesting is the data paints a picture that supply has been slow to react to the crisis and only now are the inventories starting to get cleared out. See the indicators below for Industrial Production, ISM and Oil prices in relation to other economic downturns.
In a sad state of affairs, the only thing really stopping wholesale deflation (especially with such a horrible credit outlook, employment, GDP and wage growth) is the falling supply. If supply continues to lag the demand side out of this depression (which is looking more and more likely), this is likely to be a much bigger driver of the predicted inflation wave than any of the QE or commodity bubbles theories that are currently in vogue.
The fall in trade in relation to other depressions is another story worth commenting on. The implications of such a drastic fall on both sides of the current account balance don't bode well for a quick recovery to trade flows. More importantly, it castrates many of the proposals currently in the works by many central banks to devalue their way out of this mess. Hopefully they will realize this sooner rather than later.