WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States, Germany and Britain have lost their ranking as the most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum's annual competitiveness report.
Singapore, on the other hand, ranked first in terms of competitiveness thanks to its open market, strong infrastructure, healthcare and financial system, the World Economic Forum said in a statement on Wednesday.
The United States ranked second on the index, which is based on a survey of business leaders, officials of international companies and economic analysts.
The top ten countries on the 2019 competitiveness index, along with Singapore and the United States, included Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Britain and Denmark.
Germany slipped to seventh in this year's rankings, and Britain dropped one place to ninth.
A German government official said on Tuesday that the weak performance of the German economy continued longer than expected, but the government still does not see the risk of stagnation of the economy, and therefore no need to launch measures to stimulate it.
In the new report, Hong Kong moved up four places to third place, and the Netherlands moved from sixth place in the previous report to the current fourth, ahead of the next Switzerland.
Chad has bottomed the rankings of the countries of the world, and came in 141st place, followed by Yemen in the penultimate.
The report pointed to growing concerns about the impact of President Donald Trump's protectionist policies on the competitiveness of the US economy.
Corporate officials also noted concerns about US restrictions on hiring foreign workers and their feeling that skilled workers in the United States are not meeting their expectations as before.
"Although the United States remains an innovative force" and the second economy in its competitiveness, some worrying indicators are emerging, the report said.
"It is important to make sure countries are open to trade," said Saadia Zahedi, director of the World Economic Forum, when asked about the impact of the Trump administration's customs sanctions.
She pointed to the lack of "specific data" on the impact of this, but said that the "feeling" that accompanies the desire to invest in the United States "decline."
"In the end, it will affect long-term investment, the thinking of decision-makers, and the perception of non-US business people in the United States," she said.
Zahidi said the United States had lost first place because the hope for a healthy life was lower than in China.
"Labor and education policies do not keep pace with the pace of innovation in most countries, including in some of the larger and more innovative economies," the World Economic Forum said.
The report pointed out that the majority of global economies have seen a slowdown in productivity, and in some economies reached sharp declines, due to the negative outlook on growth prospects.
The competitiveness index depends on the efficiency of a number of sectors in the country, including the financial sector, infrastructure, education and health care, as well as a survey of officials of international companies.
The Competitiveness Report, which tracks productivity drivers and long-term economic growth, is composed of 141 economies around the world and measures indicators from zero to 100. Approaching 100 means that the economy is the closest to idealism.
The 12 main items in the competitiveness index are: institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labor market, financial system, market size, business dynamism, and innovation capacity.