Inflation worries harm UK's competitiveness

Britain has slid down a table of global competitiveness released today because of concerns over the state of its economy.

The UK fell from 11th place to 15th in a survey of more than 100 countries in the latest Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum.

The WEF said Britain had slipped because of relatively high levels of inflation and government debt compared with its rivals. But it stressed that the UK was a "steady performer" and was still a good place to business.

The survey attempts to quantify the impact of a number of factors that contribute to create conditions for sustained growth, with a particular focus on the macroeconomic environment, the quality of a country's institutions, and the state of its IT and general infrastructure.

The size of the public sector deficit, which is forecast to hit £27bn this year, puts the UK at number 31 out of 102. On inflation, which recently hit 3 per cent, the UK is ranked 32nd.

Augusto Lopez-Claros, the WEF's chief economist, said this was "surprising" but added it was based on a simple ranking and did not take into account any background explanation.

"One does not think of the UK as being a problem country but the fact is that inflation has come down faster across the rest of the word," he said.

The UK came out well in terms of efficiency in government services and in the reputation of public officials as being beyond corruption.

Mr Lopez-Claros warned that the higher up the table a country came, the more that a fractional move could have a large impact on the rankings.

"I would describe the UK as a steady, reliable performer where businesses can do business, the institutions work and where the courts are not for sale," he said.

He contrasted it with Israel, which came close to the UK at 20th place. He said the macroeconomic situation was poor because of the internal strife but it boasted an IT sector that outperformed most European countries.

Finland was the most competitive economy in the world followed by the United States.

It said that the US's "commanding" position in IT was offset by some weakening in the quality of its public institutions and macroeconomic environment, particularly public finances where it ranks 50 out of 102.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project