Based on the report released on Wednesday, Germany places third while Switzerland, which sat on top of WEF global competitiveness rankings for almost a decade, drops to fourth place.
A change in methodology for the 2018 edition of the annual Global Competitiveness Report has reportedly affected the ranking, Agence France-Presse reports.
According to the organization, a new methodology was used to reflect changes “in a world increasingly transformed by new, digital technologies.” In this year’s edition of the ranking, 140 economies were studied on how they measured up against 98 indicators organized into 12 pillars, which included institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, business dynamism, and innovation capability.
When the indicators, of which there are nearly 100, were measured on a scale of 0 to 100, the U.S. scored an average of 85.6 points and was followed by Singapore (83.5) and Germany (82.8).
Saadia Zahidi, a member of the WEF’s managing board, said the U.S. rose to the top because “They’re an innovation powerhouse.”
“They do well in terms of labor markets, they do well in terms of market size, they do fairly well in terms of institutions,” she added.
Thierry Geiger, head of analytics and quantitative research at WEF, pointed out, however, that most of the data used in the report were from before Trump came to power last year. “The things we capture are long-term drivers,” Geiger said. Zahidi noted that the US competitiveness was marred only by the country’s low score in terms of participation by women in the labor force, where it ranked 37th, as well as 40th place in terms of press freedom. Meanwhile, Singapore’s strengths were in the areas of infrastructure and product market, both pillars in which it was top ranked. In addition, Singapore shared the top spot in having the best healthcare with Spain, Hong Kong, and Japan.
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