With the euro down to $1.11, European companies have a newfound cost advantage in international markets.

And the European Central Bank (ECB), which is buying bonds under its own program of “quantitative easing,” isn’t about to end that advantage anytime soon.

That means U.S. investors should look at dividend-paying European stocks, which may benefit from the EU’s position of strength. There are some nice yields available, and the currency risk is now an advantage rather than a disadvantage.

The Surplus Solution

As an investor, you want to look for large current account surpluses, as they’re a good indicator of international competitiveness.

At the moment, the eurozone is expected to run a current account surplus of 2.6% of GDP, meaning it’s more than competitive with its trading partners. What’s more, since the eurozone countries maintain a stable exchange rate with each other, their competiveness is unlikely to be damaged by a sharp revaluation of the currency.

However, within the eurozone, each country’s competitiveness depends on its relative position. You see, the eurozone’s troubles have been caused, at least in part, by a competitive gap between its member economies.

The gap has widened with time, and the better economies have achieved outsized productivity growth compared with the lesser economies. This has made the poorer-performing economies run persistent payments deficits, endangering their positions within the euro.

The strongest economy, Germany, is expected to run a current account surplus of no less than 7.6% of GDP in 2015, according to The Economist. Payments surpluses are also projected to be large in the Netherlands (9.2%) and Ireland (6.8%).

On the other hand, Portugal and Spain have current accounts close to balance, and Finland and the Baltic states are expected to run small deficits.

Outside the eurozone, look to the United Kingdom (4.8%), Denmark (6.8%), Sweden (6.5%), and Switzerland (7.2%).

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