The dollar's plunge has made the eurozone the world's biggest economy by one measure and has underscored shifts that are reorienting the 15-nation bloc towards Asia, Russia and oil-rich Gulf states, analysts say.
"With the euro now trading around 1.56 against the dollar, the size of its annual output (at market value) has exceeded that of the United States," US investment bank Goldman Sachs estimated last week.
"Brief as the development may prove to be, European policy makers will no doubt derive some pride" from the event, it said.
Meanwhile, the economy of 320 million people -- which churns out 15 percent of global gross domestic product -- has slowed but shown a degree of resiliency to the US slump that few would have counted on just a few years ago.
Historically thrifty German consumers helped the national retail sector gain 2.7 percent in January, with the trend continuing in February according to the HDE sector association.
Talk of an economic decoupling of Europe from the United States has risen as a result, but policymakers and analysts are quick to point out that global economies are interlinked, even though they move through separate cyclical phases.
"We are in a largely interdependent world so anything that happens in Europe has an influence on the US, I am happy to to tell you, and anything that happens in the US has an influence in Europe," ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet said early this month.
He nonetheless added that "we have our own economies, they are not the same. "We are in different universes."
The eurozone universe has broken free of some rigid structures that hobbled it in the past, Bank of America economist Holger Schmieding told AFP.
"Few regions have gained more from globalization than the eurozone," he wrote last week in the Wall Street Journal Europe.
Schmieding said that "apart from the housing market correction in Spain and Ireland, the eurozone has no major domestic problem," while Jennifer McKeown at Capital Economics noted: "The eurozone hasn't built up the same kinds of imbalances that we've seen in the US and the UK, too."
She summed up the eurozone experiment by saying: "So far, so good in that everything's still together. It's not falling apart as some people had feared."
Schmieding said it was "basically good news for the United States that the rest of the world is a little less dependent on the US.
"It will give the US a better chance to export its way out of domestic trouble."
Dollar's plunge pushes eurozone past US, Goldman Sachs says