The euro area grew at 1.8% in 2016, faster than the United States' clip of 1.6%.

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Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Eurostat; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Sound smart: The U.S. dollar has risen 25% against the euro since the summer of 2014, a trend that has provided a huge boost to European exporters and growth. The New York Fed estimates that a 10% rise in the dollar can cut 0.5% from GDP growth in the first year 0.7% the next, suggesting U.S. growth could have been close to double its actual 2016 rate absent the change in exchange rates.

The downside: The Eurozone may technically have grown faster than the U.S. last year, but with unemployment in Spain still at 19%, and purchasing power in relatively prosperous Germany on the decline, Americans should feel no envy.

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