US reclaims top spot in global competitiveness

A surging economy and improved atmosphere for scientific and technological innovation has allowed the U.S. to regain the top spot in global competitiveness rankings.

The U.S. moved past Hong Kong to claim the top spot for the first time since 2015.


Hong Kong, scoring first in categories for government and business efficiency, held an edge over regional rival Singapore, which kept its No. 3 spot from 2017.  Rounding out the top five were the Netherlands, which jumped one spot, and Switzerland, which tumbled three slots as it endures a slowdown in exports and concerns about its potential relocation of research and development facilities.

The U.S., which reclaimed the No. 1 spot for the first time since 2015, scored especially well in international investment, domestic economy and scientific infrastructure sub-categories while earning below-average marks in public finance and prices[.]

The renewed top ranking aligns with the positive U.S. growth narrative over the past year.  Growth averaged 2.9 percent in the four quarters through March, versus 2 percent in the prior period.

The rankings were compiled by the Switzerland-based IMD World Competitiveness Center. 

The U.S. ranked 4th last year, reflecting the tail end of the Obama administration's stewardship of the economy.  And while the ranking is good news, perhaps the biggest improvement in competitiveness was in the elimination of dozens of regulations that hampered innovation.

With this new regulatory atmosphere, the U.S. should remain at or near the top spot for years to come.

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