US consumer spending increased in December, reaching levels not seen since before the recession. Average daily spending was $98 last month, up from the $95 in November, according to Gallup.
Vehicle sales in the US also climbed during December for many automakers. General Motors saw sales rise 19% last month, and Ford Motor Co. sales increased 1.2%. While a much lower increase than competitors, Ford still had its best December since 2005.
2014 overall experienced a rise in merger and acquisition activity, with energy sector deals specifically rising 23% compared to 2013, IHS reported. Rapidly declining oil prices have caused uncertainty in the energy market this past year.
US job growth reached a 15-year high in 2014, and 2015 is expected to be just as successful for the labor market. Economists also expect the economy to grow 3% in 2015, aided by low gasoline prices, higher incomes and consumer spending.