The region saw mixed results in the most recent Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum (Weforum) this week.
Jamaica saw its position dip one spot to 80, losing ground on several of its Caribbean counterparts over the previous year’s performance.
Trinidad and Tobago, also down a spot from previous year, placed just ahead of Jamaica at 79. Barbados was the best-ranked Caribbean nation at 77 followed by the Dominican Republic at 78.
The report assesses the competitiveness of 141 economies and provides insight into country-specific drivers of productivity and long-term economic growth.
Asian powerhouse Singapore took the number one spot with a score of 84.8, displacing the United States of America (83.7) which had to settle for second place. Scores are done from 0 to 100 where the latter represents the ideal situation.
Singapore ranks first for the pillars of health, labour market and infrastructure, achieves a nearly perfect score for macroeconomic stability.
The US, however, performed well under innovation, capturing the top spot for business dynamism and finding skilled employees while being runner-up for innovation capability.
By comparison, Barbados’ overall score was 58.9 and ranked 41 for health, 55 in the labour market and 97 for infrastructure.
A summary of the report revealed that “for least-developed and emerging economies, their fragile economic foundations make them highly vulnerable to shocks.” It further stated that “with extreme poverty reduction decelerating and nearly one-half of humanity still struggling to meet basic needs, the report suggests the need for sustained, productivity-enhancing economic growth remaining critical for improved living standards.”
The top five was completed by Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
Within the context of the global financial crisis a decade ago, Weforum said: “The world economy remains locked in a cycle of low or flat productivity growth despite the injection of more than US$10 trillion by central banks”.