US Economy Still the 'Most Competitive'

10 October 2008

GENEVA, Switzerland: Despite its many recent financial traumas, the US economy remains the most competitive in the world, according to the latest Global Competitiveness Report, published by the World Economic Forum.

Major reasons for US primacy are said to include its high levels of innovation and education, and the efficient functioning of its labor market.

While concerns remain about the level of public debt, the report argues that America's various economic strengths mean the nation "is strong enough to deal with business cycle shifts and economic shocks".

Switzerland was ranked in second, thanks to its focus on research and development and "very sophisticated business culture", meaning the same two nations occupy the same rankings as last year.

Denmark took third place, followed by Sweden, Singapore, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Canada.

The UK dropped three places to 12th, as the benefits offered by its flexible labour market did not offset concerns about "the soundness of banks and the ease of access to various forms of capital".

Other issues facing Britain are said to include low national savings rates and a rising public sector deficit, alongside a loss of trust in government and public institutions.

The Global Competitiveness study combines financial data like levels of debt and inflation plus a survey of some 12,000 business leaders in 134 nations. This year's research was completed in April, before the latest round of economic implosions.

To view the full report, click here.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff