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Singapore 2nd most competitive economy in the world. Swiss First.

Singapore has maintained its position as the world’s second most competitive economy, missing out on top spot to Switzerland which kept the title for the fourth year running, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its annual survey on Wednesday.

The study by the WEF, best known for running the annual meeting of world business leaders at the ski resort of Davos, ranks 144 countries by examining 113 indicators culled from official data sources and a poll of 15,000 executives who opine on the country where they do business.

Switzerland pipped Singapore to the top spot thanks to strong scores in areas such as innovation, labour market effiency and effective public institutions.

The US fell from fifth spot to seventh because of political and economic problems that detracted from its status as a global powerhouse of innovation, the study said.

“We see this development as a result of the growing macroeconomic imbalances in the country but also due to the political deadlock that has been augmenting the problem of macroeconomic imbalances,” said Ms Margareta Drzeniek, a senior economist at the Geneva-based organisation.

“There does seem to be an inability to take decisions on the political side.” Rather than a big shake-up in the rankings, the 2012 survey found deepening divides, she said.

“One of the reasons those persistent divides are not being closed – and the prime example here is Europe, or the United States as well – is because of the political deadlock that we’ve observed, that has prevented those countries from taking a longer term approach to improving competitiveness with a view to stabilising growth in the future.”

Via – AsiaOne [1]

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