While there may be warning lights flashing over the health of the UK economy, it is nothing compared to some of the turmoil being faced in countries further afield.
Political uncertainty, an economic slowdown, oil price volatility and violent swings on the financial markets have dominated the start of 2016. Business and consumer confidence surveys are at multi-year lows, growth forecasts are being chopped and global trade is stuttering.
But a new ranking of the best - and worst - places in the world to do business - published this week, has determined that Venezuela, for the second year in a row, is the riskiest country in the world for companies to operate.
The beleaguered South American nation came in bottom place of FM Global’s Resilience Index as it faces not only exposure to natural disasters such as earthquakes, but global economic turmoil caused by the plunging oil price, chaos in the domestic political scene and perceptions of corruption and poor infrastructure.
The least resilient
Switzerland climbed to the top of the index as the most secure place to do business in 2016, displacing Norway which fell to second because of oil price volatility.
The rankings take into account a number of factors that determine a country’s vulnerability and susceptibility to events or developments which could disrupt business, including:
Economic strength - GDP per capita
Perceptions of political risk, including corruption
Exposure to natural hazards - earthquakes, hurricanes, floods etc.
Vulnerability to an oil price shock
European nations dominate the top 10, with Ireland (3), Germany (4), Luxembourg (5), the Netherlands (6), and Denmark (10) all being ranked as some of the best places in the world to operate.
The most resilient
|7||United States (Central region)||94.2|
The UK was ranked 20th - unmoved from last year. The report noted Britain’s participation in air strikes and military action in the middle east as a sign of heightened risk.