Annual rankings by IMD World Competitiveness Center shows the U.S. reclaiming ranking number one ranking for the first time since 2015, owing to a better atmosphere of scientific and technological advancement. Positive growth of 0.9 percent in the four quarters through March also aligns with its top ranking. It also scored well in domestic economy, international investment, infrastructure sub-categories, however, ran below average in public finance and prices.

Following the U.S. is Hong Kong, dropping down from last year by one spot, but still remained an edge over its rival Singapore, whose ranking kept constant at its number three spot from 2017.

While the Netherlands jumped one slot to number four, Switzerland tumbled three places to number five due to a delay in exports and concerns about its potential change of research facilities.

Recognized improvements from last year are Austria, advancing seven spots to ranking 18th, and China, rising five spots to number 13, thanks to investment in both tangible and intangible infrastructure, and also adjustments to regulation, according to the IMD.

European countries including Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were among the top 10 in IMD’s rankings, while the United Arab Emirates remained the only Middle Eastern nation.

As usual suspects, Venezuela ranked at the very bottom. Mongolia kept its spot as second to last. Though Brazil showed an improvement, with a small growth and employment.

258 indicators on economic achievements, employment, government efficiency, and infrastructure were used in IMD, with an emphasis on hard data such as trade statistics.
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