The United States has fallen to the world’s third most competitive economy, behind Singapore and Hong Kong, according to annual rankings compiled by Switzerland-based business school IMD. The annual report from the IMD World Competitiveness Center evaluates 63 countries on 235 measures. While the U.S. still ranked first in economic performance, IMD found that higher fuel prices and weaker high-technology exports helped topple the U.S. from its top spot.
The top 10 economies by competitiveness were as follows: Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, USA, Switzerland, UAE, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, and Qatar. The report showed that Singapore advanced to the top due to its availability of skilled labor, advanced technological infrastructure, immigration laws, and efficient ways to set up new businesses. It is the first time in nine years that Singapore has surpassed the U.S. and Hong Kong.
The Asia-Pacific region in general made a good showing in the rankings. Out of the 14 regional economies analyzed for the report, 11 either held onto or improved their rank. Thailand reached the 25th most competitive economy in the world after rising five spots. Indonesia rose 11 places in the ranking to the 32nd position.
The ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has caused rapid fluctuations in global financial markets. In a single day, the Dow dropped 470 points after the president tweeted that he would be raising tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports. The Dow later made up most of its losses after some analysts claimed that the president was merely positioning for negotiations, but plunged again after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer confirmed that the tariffs would be going into effect.