The recent economic upturn in Germany and Europe appears to have become more sustained. However, from a wider perspective the degree of recovery remains tenuous, and therefore the economy as a whole continues to be exposed to significant risk, particularly when one considers the challenges associated with national debt. As a result, economic forecasts have remained cautious, with growth projections for Germany and the EU still ranging between one and two per cent – from a low base. Within this context, the tangible improvement in German exports seems to have had little impact on growth forecasts.  Thus, economic recovery has yet to generate sufficient forward momentum. At the same time, consumer demand remains an uncertainty.