For the first time in nine years, Singapore replaced the US as the world’s most competitive economy, Fox Business reported. Thanks to higher fuel prices, weaker high-tech exports, fluctuations in the value of the dollar and the fading impact of President Trump’s massive tax overhaul, the US dropped down to third on the list. Hong Kong, meanwhile, remained in second place. China, US's counterpart in the ongoing trade war, was ranked fourteenth.
“In a year of high uncertainty in global markets due to rapid changes in the international political landscape as well as trade relations, the quality of institutions seem to be the unifying element for increasing prosperity,” Arturo Bris, an IMD professor and director of the World Competitiveness Center, said in a statement.
The study incorporated 235 indicators from each of the 63 ranked economies, taking into account statistics like unemployment, GDP and government spending on health and education, as well as issues like social cohesion, corruption and globalization.
The Asia-Pacific region has emerged as a contender for competitiveness, with 11 out of 14 economies either improving or holding their ground, led by Hong Kong and Singapore. Indonesia leaped 11 spots to 32nd — the biggest improvement in the region, thanks to increased efficiency in the government sector and improved infrastructure.
Meanwhile, competitiveness across Europe has struggled to gain ground. Due to the Brexit impasse, the United Kingdom went down three spots, from 20th to 23rd. The biggest climber for the region was Ireland, which rose five places to 7th as business conditions have improved.