The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook ranks 61 countries, with Australia gaining an overall spot from 18 to 17 this year, after five years of decline. Australia also jumped from 27 to 12 on the economic resilience scale, suggesting we are going to do all right despite the mining construction boom ending.
Business confidence in Australia is rising, despite core economic indicators not budging, the survey report says.
We are still growing, the report states, with overall economic performance improving slightly due to rankings in international investment, research and development, and employment.
Low GDP growth and low inflation (relative to other countries) mean core economic indicators have remained static.
Australia shifted from 33 to 26 in technological infrastructure despite the slow or absent rollout of the NBN (which set us back on bandwidth speed rankings from 26 to 39), and the increase seems only due to more people subscribing to broadband. Technology skills have dropped from 27 to 36.
Real estate was also an area of concern, with the ranking moving from 40 to 53, due to the high cost of rentals and purchases. We are one of the most expensive countries to buy or rent in. The apartment rental ranking fell from 48 to 56.
China Hong Kong ranked first, with Switzerland second, and the United States third. The United States has dropped two places, after ranking number one for the previous three years straight.
Over 340 areas are assessed, with two-thirds based on statistical indicators, and one-third based on a survey of over 5,500 international executives. CEDA (the Committee for Economic Development of Australia) is the Australian partner for the Yearbook.