How Sweet It Is For Europe's Exporters

The strong dollar has sparked a boom that's firing a recovery on the Continent

Nestled in the Pyrenees mountains of southwestern France, the tiny village of Came and its 700 residents seem a world away from the U.S. But for Solange Gestas, the great big economy across the Atlantic couldn't be more important. The chief executive of a 152-year-old business that makes copies of 19th-century antique furniture, Gestas exports armchairs and tables that fetch as much as $5,000 from U.S. buyers. She started targeting the market in the mid-1980s, when the American economy was booming and a rising U.S. dollar made her products all the more appealing to American buyers. Today, exports represent nearly half of the family-owned company's $3 million in annual sales.

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