GENEVA — Boosted by improvements in innovation and technology, the U.S. economy has moved up two slots, to third place — behind top performers Switzerland and Singapore — according to the Word Economic Forum’s global competitiveness rankings in its 2014 business survey.
“As it recovers from the crisis, the United States can build on the many structural features that make its economy extremely productive,” said the WEF’s “Global Competitiveness Report: 2014-2015,” which polled, worldwide, more than 14,000 business leaders in the 144 economies reviewed.
The report said the U.S. economy posted improvement in a number of areas, especially in innovation.
The WEF report ranks countries based on the business-leader survey and 12 determinants of competitiveness, including the macro economy, goods-market efficiency, innovation, business sophistication, infrastructure and technological readiness.
Benat Bilbao, WEF senior economist, told reporters, “The global recovery is better [than the U.S. recovery], and there are many countries that are making good strides to come out of the crisis…and the United States is improving the situation with economic growth coming back to the country.”
Regarding competitiveness in key textile and apparel exporting countries, the WEF report shows that only a few posted gains in global competitiveness: For example, Vietnam was up two slots, to 68th; Bangladesh was up one position, to 109th; Indonesia was up four places, to 34th, and China was up one, to 28th.
However, in the case of China, the report notes, the country “is no longer an inexpensive location” for labor-intensive activities such as apparel production, and it is losing manufacturing jobs to other less-developed nations.
The report said many other key suppliers witnessed declines or stagnation in global competitiveness: for example, India was down 11 rankings, to 71st; Sri Lanka was down eight, to 73rd; Cambodia was down seven, to 95th, and Turkey was down one, to 45th.