For the first time since 2007, the U.S. economy is poised to start the new year on a strong footing amid a flurry of signs that point to a recovery.
From sales of cars and homes, to hiring and the booming stock market, analysts say there are reasons to finally believe that the coming year will be much better than the last few ones.
Dr. Hasan Pordeli, professor of economics and finance with the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University joined Melissa Ross for a look at the economic forecast for 2014.
"In general, there is a sense of optimism towards 2014," Pordeli said, pointing to leading economic indicators that are giving analysts a sense that the new year will be a good one economically.
"Since the 1950's we've had almost ten recessions," he said. "The 2007 recession was possibly the worst because of intensity and length."
"One of the things that makes us more optimistic is that the global financial crises are fading away," he said, noting that the country's economic growth rate is expected to surpass that of 2013.
"All the indications are telling us that in 2014 and 2015 we will definitely get back to normal, which is about 3 percent or more," he said, referring to a return to pre-recession level growth.
Some of the indicators economists will be watching closely this year are home sales, the stock market, unemployment rates, and inflation rates.
While Pordeli said there is some concern that the Federal Reserve will scale back securities purchases, the central bank's overall low rates should remain through the year.
"I'm convinced that the easy money policy will remain in place," he said, adding that rates will likely not go up until at least mid-2015.
You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.