I‘m a big fan of annual surveys and lists that rank the U.S. economy and business environment in one way or another. They usually do a good job of capturing a moment in time in our nations’ economic history. It’s always interesting to look back and see how the U.S. ranks from one year to another.
This leads me to a new survey just out ranking the world’s most competitive economies.
In the 2010 edition of the World Competitiveness Yearbook, just released by the Switzerland-based Institute for Management Development (IMD), Singapore and Hong Kong (technically a special administration region of China) have both moved up one spot to take first and second place respectively as the world’s most competitive nations.
Both countries have now surpassed the U.S. for the first time in decades, knocking it into third place after its 16-year reign as No. 1.
The World Competitiveness Yearbook is widely considered to be the most comprehensive up-to-date ranking of how industrialized and emerging nations are managing their governments, businesses, people and infrastructure.
While I’m not thrilled to see the U.S. fall a few notches, I’m pleased that the U.S. fared much better than others had predicted.
The study lists 58 economies according to 328 criteria that measure how the nations create and maintain conditions favorable to businesses – a formula that long favored the U.S.–until now.
Switzerland and Australia rounded out the top five. Then came Sweden, Canada, Taiwan, Norway and Malaysia.
China continued its rise in the survey, reaching 18th and highlighting that it is no longer dependent on foreign markets buying up its cheap exports. It led fellow emerging economies India, 31; Brazil, 38; and Russia, 51.
Debt-laden Greece actually improved in the 2010 ranking, rising six places to 46th.
Not surprisingly, Venezuela ranked last for the fifth year in a row, preceded by Ukraine, Romania, Argentina and Croatia.
See the rest of the list below:
So the U.S. fell to No. 3. I’ll take it.
With all that’s going on in the world right now, it will be interesting to see where things fall next year. What do you think?