Cautious optimism in Western Norway

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Business leaders in western Norway feel a little more optimistic about the future now than they did four months ago according to a new study, the so-called ‘Western Index’. Meanwhile, it reports weaker demand, yet improved profitability.

The ‘Western Index’, conducted by Sparebanken Vest in collaboration with Response Analysis, shows for the second consecutive quarter, marginally increased optimism, but progress from the previous quarter is modest. 700 business leaders in Western Norway were included in the survey.

The ‘Expectation Index’, which measures the outlook-forecast for the next six months, showed that companies expect a somewhat stronger employment figure, and a slight recovery in investment.

‘A feature of the recession in Western Norway in recent years is that weaker oil prices have forced significant cost reduction strategies, and a strong need for efficiency. Now perhaps, it looks as if the companies will get rewarded for this focus with improved profitability’, said executive vice president for the corporation, Sparebanken Vest, Ragnhild Janbu Fresvik, in a comment.

Over half of the companies surveyed expect a growth in demand in 2017, and it is the export companies which are the most positive.

Firms were also asked what they would use any unexpected, new capital for, and 54% answered that they would spend the money on investment.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today