The eurozone economy keeps sending signals of strength. The latest one is consumer confidence, which hit another 16-year high in October, coming in at -1 from -1.2 in September. Absent any horrible political crises -- and, being Europe, that is a tall order -- the eurozone has a high chance of becoming the engine of growth for the world in the next year, overtaking the U.S.
Increased consumer confidence comes on the heels of buoyant retail sales in the single European currency area. In September, eurozone retail PMI hit a three-month high, with both France and Germany rising to two-month highs, according to the latest survey by IHS Markit.
"Consumers have little to worry about at the moment," Bert Colijn, eurozone senior economist at ING, wrote in a research note. "Consumers indicated over recent months that their household financial situation has been improving and the amount of major purchases that households are making have jumped as well."
Trade data from other parts of the world confirm the recovery of the eurozone. Exports from Asia to the eurozone, especially from South Korea and China, have been strong in the past few months.
If more proof is needed of the positive change in the eurozone, when is the last time you saw such an upbeat remark about jobs in France? (yes, France):
In October, employment growth in France rose to an almost 10-and-a-half-year high, according to data from IHS Markit released on Tuesday. The flash manufacturing PMI rose to 56.7 in October from September's 56.1, hitting a six-and-a-half-year high. In the whole of the eurozone, job creation was the strongest in more than a decade.
Employment expectations of businesses in the eurozone are around "decade highs," according to Colijn, and they underpin the strength in consumer confidence. He expects that trend to continue for a while.
"Inflation is expected to decline somewhat over the coming months because of energy base effects, meaning that the economy could remain in the sweet spot for the consumer for a while to come," he said.
Credit standards on consumer credit and other lending to households eased in the third quarter of the year, as did credit standards on lending for house purchases, a survey about lending conditions in the eurozone released by the European Central Bank (ECB) on Tuesday showed.
Expect some lengthy self-congratulatory remarks at Thursday's ECB monetary policy meeting. Perhaps those are well-deserved, despite the Germans' grumpiness about low interest rates: If the ECB had not joined the money-printing carousel, the eurozone probably would still struggle under the burden of extremely high debt-servicing costs.
But printing money is no panacea for the other problems that the eurozone faces. As the recovery strengthens, politicians may be inclined to kick the can of reforms further down the road with renewed vigor. This would be fatal for the eurozone, which came to the brink of collapse during the debt crisis only five short years ago.
Optimistic investors probably should buy into the recovery. Pessimistic ones had better stay out, as they always do. What about the realistic ones, you ask? The truth is, when it comes to the eurozone, there is no such thing as realism.
This column originally appeared on Real Money, our premium site for active traders. Click here to get great columns like this from Jim Cramer and other writers even earlier in the trading day.
More of What's Trending on TheStreet: