Countries across the world are suffering from a shortfall in productivity growth that is weighing on economic expansion, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s annual report on global competitiveness.
The forum said that world economic growth was not on track to recover to the heights seen before the global financial crisis of 2007/08. On top of this, WEF warned that uncertainty surrounding a slowdown in emerging markets, in particular China, could disrupt the world’s growth trajectory.
“Rather than adjusting to this new normal, countries must step up their efforts to re-accelerate economic growth. There is evidence that, in addition to lower capital accumulation that results from reduced investments, productivity over the past decade has been stagnating and even declining,” said authors led by WEF’s executive chairman, Klaus Schwab, in the report.
“Increasing productivity therefore needs to be at the core of the policy agendas of governments and international organizations.”
As it does every year, the report ranked countries by their relative competitiveness, factoring in governmental institutions and policies as well as the efficiency of the labor market and financial markets. It also considered other facets such as business sophistication and innovation.
Switzerland and Singapore held onto the two top places in the 2015-and 2016 rankings and the U.S. stayed in third place.