By Randy DeSoto
For the first time since 2008, the United States tops the list of the most competitive economies in the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.
During the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency, the United States ranked third behind Switzerland and Singapore.
The U.S. then moved up to second below Switzerland during President Donald Trump’s first year in office.
The top five in this year’s rankings are the U.S., Singapore, Germany, Switzerland and Japan.
The American economy received a score of 85.6 out of 100, with 100 representing the “frontier” of competitiveness.
Indicators used to measure competitiveness include: institutions; infrastructure; ICT adoption (i.e. technologies that provide access to information); macroeconomic stability; health; skills; product market; labor market; financial system; market size; business dynamism; and innovation capability.
“America’s vibrant entrepreneurial culture and its dominance in producing a competitive labor market and nimble financial system ‘are among the several factors that contribute to making the U.S.’ innovation ecosystem one of the best in the world,’” The Wall Street Journal (behind paywall) reported.
The WEF report’s authors noted, “There is still room for improvement,” concerning the country’s economic climate.
They pointed to indicators of a weakening social fabric and highlighted the country’s homicide rate, which is five times above the average for advanced economies.
The report also cited a brewing trade war between the United States and China as a possible hindrance on the world’s overall economy.
While the U.S. ranked at the top of the list for the best domestic economic climate, it came in at No. 9 on the trade openness scale.
Trump tweeted a video of Fox Business Network’s Charles Payne touting America’s return to the top spot.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2018
“First time in 10 years, baby!” Payne said. “We propelled back to the top. You know what’s interesting about this. This is the World Economic Forum, so it’s like an offshoot of the U.N., so it’s European-centric.”
“The day after the (2016) election, the business dynamism, the business confidence that was dormant, came back to life,” he said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also trumpeted the achievement in a tweet on Wednesday.
Skeptics→ “Slow economic growth is the new normal.”
Reality→ The U.S. economy is now the world’s most competitive economy for the first time in a decade.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) October 17, 2018
Both Trump and Ryan have pointed to the tax cuts passed last December and the unprecedented reduction in federal regulations as two key steps taken since the election to unshackle the American economy.