U.S. global economic competitiveness trails Sweden, Finland
The U.S. seems to be losing its economic edge, slipping to fifth place in an annual worldwide ranking of global competitiveness.
The nonprofit World Economic Forum, known for its elite yearly confab in Davos, Switzerland, called out the U.S. for its deficit woes and the public's diminished trust in politicians and business leaders.
The country, which was in fourth place last year, has lost ground for three consecutive years. The ranking of 142 economies now lists Switzerland first, followed by Singapore, Sweden and Finland, based on factors that include a nation’s infrastructure, technological readiness and business sophistication.
The Geneva-based forum said that the U.S. had several advantages, including highly sophisticated and innovative companies, an excellent university system, flexible labor markets and its enormous domestic economy.
However, the “lack of macroeconomic stability continues to be the United States’ greatest area of weakness,” according to the group, which also pointed to deep deficits, murky policy making, burdensome regulations and wasteful allocations of resources.
But the U.S. still outpaced Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Japan and Britain, which rounded out the top ten. Emerging markets are ranked far lower, with China in 26th place, Brazil 53rd and India 56th.
Greece, whose debt crisis and resulting austerity measures sparked protests and riots this year, settled in 90th place.
-- Tiffany Hsu
Photo: An American flag on Main Street in Danville, Ky., is reflected in raindrops seen through a car windshield. Credit: Clay Jackson / The Advocate-Messenger