Dropping Like a Rock… the US Continues to Lose its Competitive Edge

Thanks to the government’s meddlesome ways, the US has again fallen on the World Economic Forum’s ranking of global competitiveness. Historically, the US was reliably ranked number one, but in 2009 it gave up the lead position to Switzerland.

For 2010, America’s slipped again… and this time it’s fallen two slots. The US stayed below Switzerland — which retained its top ranking from last year — but, newly fell behind Sweden and Singapore in that order… no longer even clinching the proverbial bronze medal.

From Bloomberg:

“The U.S. ranked 87th for macroeconomic stability, and American businesses also increasingly questioned the government’s ability to avoid meddling in the private sector and viewed it as a wasteful spender, the forum said. In its index of financial market development, the U.S. fell to 31st from ninth in 2008.

“Switzerland held the premier position in the survey thanks to ranking fourth in the world for its business sophistication and second for its ability to innovate, the WEF said.

“Sweden climbed two slots to second, surpassing Singapore which remained third. Sweden was credited for its transportation and high level of ethical behavior, while Singapore won points for its lack of corruption and for the efficiency of its government.

“Germany, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Canada rounded out the top 10, the composition of which was unchanged from last year. Among the other Group of Seven economies, the U.K. and France each rose one spot to 12th and 15th respectively, while Italy stayed 48th.”

Weighed down on the rankings thanks to its heavy debt load, Greece is the lowest positioned EU country. It fell 12 places from last year and now checks in at the 83rd spot. Ouch. The US, with its rising debt and deficit, is poised to make a similar move at some point in the future without drastic budget changes. American’s ranking was also hurt by its lack of macroeconomic stability, deteriorating institutional environment, weakened financial markets, and its unsound banking system… for which the US is now ranked 111th.

You can read more details in Bloomberg’s coverage of slipping US competitiveness.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning