The Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) for October was released a few minutes ago. The 3mo-avg of the CFNAI is very heavily correlated with GDP growth.

Here’s a chart….

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The October 3mo-avg reading poked its head above water after 7 straight months of negative readings. Seven straight readings in the 3mo CFNAI almost never happens unless the economy is in recession. According to the CFNAI, the economy was still growing in October, but just barely.  Hence the Fed’s reluctance to remove the QE3 steroids (even though QE3 is doing little to nothing to improve the economy at this point).