US loses status as the world's most competitive economy

TAX haven Switzerland has knocked the US off its position as the world&rsquo;s most competitive economy, after the financial crisis exposed longstanding weaknesses in the giant economy.<br /><br />The UK, the world&rsquo;s sixth-largest economy by gross domestic product, has slipped one place and now ranks a dismal 13th, according to the World Economic Forum&rsquo;s (WEF) latest Global Competitiveness Report.<br /><br />That means the UK is now outranked by several smaller nations including Taiwan, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark.<br /><br />The study, which takes into account a wide range of data like growth, health data and the number of internet users, underscores the damage done to economies that rely heavily on financial services.<br /><br />&ldquo;There are problems on the financial market that we were not aware of before. These countries (like the US and Britain) are getting penalised now,&rdquo; she said. <br /><br />The study also factors in a survey among business leaders, assessing for example the government&rsquo;s efficiency or the flexibility of the labour market. The WEF applauded Switzerland for its capacity to innovate and its sophisticated business culture.