U.S. drops to fifth in competitiveness rankings

Zachary Roth

Thanks in part to the deficit and a declining faith in government, the United States fell one spot to fifth place in an annual ranking of the world's most competitive economies.

In the new rankings, put out by the World Economic Forum (best known for its annual Davos confab of global business leaders), Switzerland, Singapore, Sweden and Finland took the top four places, in descending order.

The rankings are based on economic data and a survey of business executives. The WEF cited several "escalating weaknesses," which included rising public debt and weakening public faith in political leaders and corporate ethics.