The Yearbook rankings measure the success of 59 countries’ economic and human resource management in terms of increasing prosperity.
Hong Kong is ranked first, the US second and Switzerland third.
Australia has fallen out of the top 10, dropping from 9th in 2011 to 15th in 2012.
Despite turmoil in the US, Stephane Garelli - IMD World Competitiveness Centre director - says its competitiveness impacts the rest of the world as it interacts with every economy.
“No other nation can exercise such a strong ‘pull effect’ on the world,” Garelli says, “Europe is burdened with austerity and fragmented political leadership and is hardly a credible substitute, while a south-south bloc of emerging markets is still a work in progress. In the end, if the US competes, the world succeeds.”
Apart from Hong Kong, Malaysia (14) and Korea (22), all Asian economies slipped in the rankings.
IMD says emerging economies aren’t immune to turmoil elsewhere, highlighted in the rankings of China (23), India (35) and Brazil (46).
Top 10 competitive economies in 2012