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OSLO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The business conditions for companies based in Norway's western oil-producing regions continued to recover in the fourth quarter, a business survey showed on Friday.
First compiled in 2012, the West Coast Current Conditions Index rose by 0.7 points to 59.4 points in the fourth quarter, while the six-month outlook rose 0.3 points to 62.3 points, said polling institute Respons Analyse and bank Sparebanken Vest.
The price of crude oil, Norway's key export, fell sharply from mid-2014 to early 2016 but has since staged a partial recovery, while non-oil exporters are boosted by a weak crown currency.
Both indexes were at their highest level since the second quarter of 2015 but were still well below highs seen between 2012 and 2014.
"Weak oil prices have prompted significant cost cuts and a strong need for greater efficiency. It looks like companies are now being rewarded with increased profitability," Sparebanken Vest said.
The survey covered 700 firms based in the regions of Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane and Moere og Romsdal. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while a reading below that level signals contraction. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Stine Jacobsen)