Stephen Powney, meanwhile, took my place, not only at the Ligna exhibition in Hannover in May for his review), but also when he toured Italy in June, gathering information for his excellent Focus on Italy, contains an eclectic mix of companies and products. The common theme to Stephen’s reports: some very positive stories of full order books and an optimistic outlook for several of the diverse industries that make up the Italian machinery sector.

Less positively, the global economy continues to ‘wobble’ its way through 2015. We are all well aware of Greece’s financial difficulties and the shadow which the uncertain economic future of that country casts over the whole of the EU region and beyond.

However, perhaps more worrying, on a global scale, is the economic news coming out of China. According to the BBC, the stock market plummeted for three days in week commencing July 27, including an 8% plunge on the Monday.

Fortunately, the benchmark Shanghai Composite closed 3.4% higher at 3,789.17 on the Wednesday as the authorities took action to calm markets with a probe into illegal share ‘dumping’, while they also pledged to buy stocks and the central bank hinted at possible further easing, reported the broadcaster.

For some time now it has been suggested by several economic commentators that this problem was inevitable, given the dramatic and continued growth in the Chinese economy over the last several years, which they believed would inevitably lead to ‘over-heating’. If China does not resolve its problems quickly, we may all feel the chill economic wind from that continent, making the Greek problem seem like a gentle breeze.

Meanwhile, the other country which has been an economic powerhouse in recent years – Brazil – faces its own problems.

News agency Reuters said on its website in late July that: "Next year is likely to be memorable for all the wrong reasons in Latin America’s biggest economy.

"President Dilma Rousseff, or whoever wins the election, will have to make deep budget cuts, raise taxes and take other painful steps to address Brazil’s growing financial imbalances.

"The fallout will likely be more damaging than many investors anticipate, resulting in a fourth straight year of disappointing growth – a big fall back to earth for a country that last decade was one of the world’s most dynamic emerging markets".

Personally, I would rather not think about such dire forecasts for China and Brazil, but would prefer to concentrate on the aforementioned good news from Italy – and on the very positive attitudes found at the Ligna exhibition!