U.S. Wins Title of World’s Most Competitive Economy for First Time in a Decade

John Carney

Davos just declared that America is great again.

The World Economic Forum, which hosts the annual conference of global elites in Switzerland, said on Tuesday that the United States is the most competitive economy in the world.

The U.S. has not held the number one spot since 2008, when the aftermath of the financial crisis and bungled recovery efforts left the U.S. economy limping.

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“The United States, as one of the world’s great innovation powerhouses, is very well positioned in this new competitive landscape,” the Forum said in an article explaining its ranking. “It ranks first overall in the world in three of our twelve pillars; business dynamism, labour markets and financial system. It comes second in another two; innovation (behind Germany) and market size (behind China).”

The U.S. is followed by Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan in the top five. The top ten includes the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the U.K., Sweden, and Denmark.

Roughly 70% of the U.S. score originates from data supplied by international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, which typically are produced with a two to three year lag, according to the Forum.

“Does this mean that the US’ ascent can solely be attributed to the far-sighted structural reforms and innovations of its previous administration? The answer here is a very firm no: some of America’s strengths predate even that period. Likewise nor can we dismiss the efforts of the current administration: if 70% of the report’s weighting comes from hard data, the remaining 30% represents the views of America’s business leaders: if they are positive about America’s competitiveness then their views will be very much based on the here and now,” the Forum explained.

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