The latest export numbers are showing that. Last year, Spain's sales abroad rose 5.2 percent to a record-high 234.2 billion euros. And somewhat stronger imports in December are a reliable sign that domestic demand is beginning to rev up.
Despite lingering weaknesses in the Spanish banking sector, confidence is definitely coming back. A week ago, Spain raised 4.5 billion euros in short-term bonds at historically low interest rates, and last Friday Moody's increased the country's credit rating with positive outlook, suggesting the possibility of another upgrade.
So, dress up if you are going to dine (caution: be fashionably late, don't show up before 11 pm) at some of those elegant Madrid restaurants because the smartly clad men and their bejeweled ladies will be looking at you. But that will most probably be the inquisitive glance of steady patrons asking: "Who is this guy?"
Fancy an oxymoron? Try a socialist supply-sider
That is what the Washington and Silicon Valley elite must have asked when they saw French President Hollande – a lifelong socialist – morph in front of their eyes into the business friendly tax-cutter and supply-sider during his recent state visit to the United States.
(Read more: The 'Merkel put' is a safe bet)
Of course, Hollande's metamorphosis remains to be seen and tested.
He has to deliver, though: French policies must be revised to support the economy and employment creation if Hollande, with his record-low approval ratings, is to have a shot at reelection in 2017. Encouragingly, he seems to be getting the message. He is now personally conducting seminars with the captains of some of the largest world companies about making France a more attractive investment destination.
If he keeps that up, the job of the German Chancellor Merkel will become a bit easier. As a veteran in matters of the European statecraft, she has been trying to coach him to little avail ever since Hollande's election in the spring of 2012.
At the moment, the French president can only look with envy at his neighbors across the Rhine: Germany's strong exports are pushing its current account surplus to 7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and the soaring housing demand is moving the thrifty Germans to step up their consumption spending.
These four countries – Germany, France, Italy and Spain – represent nearly 80 percent of the euro area economy, 12 percent of global output and are close to China's share of world GDP.
(Read more: Germany's new face at the ECB: Who's in the frame?)
That is where the investment focus should be. These economies are leading the monetary union's transition to a more synchronized business cycle under conditions of increasingly homogeneous economic systems, stable prices, declining public sector deficits and accommodative monetary policies.
Michael Ivanovitch is president of MSI Global, a New York-based economic research company. He also served as a senior economist at the OECD in Paris, international economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and taught economics at Columbia.
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