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U.S. competitiveness slips |

U.S. competitiveness slips

| Friday, September 10, 2010 12:00 a.m

The United States slipped to fourth in the annual rankings of the world’s most-competitive economies amid a record budget deficit, while Switzerland retained the top spot, the World Economic Forum said Thursday.

The U.S. fell from second, a year after losing the No. 1 position for the first time since the Geneva-based organization began its current index in 2004. A budget shortfall of more than $1 trillion and public distrust of politicians were among the weaknesses in the world’s largest economy.

“A number of escalating weaknesses have lowered the U.S. ranking over the past two years,” the study of 139 nations showed. “A lack of macroeconomic stability continues to be the United States’ greatest area of weakness.”

Switzerland, home to companies including drugmaker Novartis and food company Nestle, was credited for its innovation and business culture.

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