Italian flat glass processing association Gimav recently released its annual snapshot report highlighting the industry’s structural characteristics, sales, production activity, domestic and export markets.

According to a release from Gimav, the latest survey “revealed [2016] was another year of recovery, made even more significant by the 2017 forecast for further growth in terms of sales, and stability in terms of exports and the domestic market.”

For the seventh straight year, the Italian glass machinery industry showed growth. In 2016, overall sales increased by 5.9 percent from 2015. Flat glass was up 7.5 percent from the year before, when it rose by 6.7 percent from 2014.

The country’s industry trade balance reached 947 million Euros, a 6.63-percent increase from 2015, according to the report.

“This indicator clearly highlights this sector’s uncanny ability to rebound from the effects of the economic-financial crisis that plagued the world, and long lingered in Italy,” Gimav president Aldo Faccenda and director Laura Biason said in a joint statement. “Today, at least for the glass machinery sector, we can say the crisis is over. The numbers show we are back where we were in 2008, and we are extremely pleased by it.”

They added, “We applaud the commitment of this large group of companies—small, medium and large—which managed to climb all the way back up through their unfailing determination, flair for innovation, and will to make up for the lost ground on international markets.”

In 2016, North America increased its imports of Italian equipment by more than 45 percent, and the U.S. was the No. 1 customer of Italian manufactures with nearly 18 of the overall flat glass share.