By JEFF BENNETT
Auto makers capped 2011 with a strong December and forecast the recovery in U.S. sales would intensify as long as a stabilizing economy and improved U.S. job gains continue to encourage shoppers.
Detroit auto makers reported increases in vehicle sales for December, with Chrysler Group LLC posting a 37% rise, Ford Motor Co. citing a 10% gain and General Motors Co. reporting a 4.6% increase. For the full year, Chrysler's sales rose 26%, Ford's 11% and GM's 13%.
All told, auto makers sold 1…