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U.S. Competitiveness Increased in Last Decade

December 06, 1996

According to a new report released by the Council on Competitiveness, Competitive Index 1996: A Ten-Year Strategic Assessment, the U.S. has sharply boosted its economic competitiveness over the past decade. The Council attributed the gains to a variety of factors including corporate restructuring, reduction in the budget deficit, a weaker dollar and broadened international markets.

The report warns, however, that the U.S. remains vulnerable in several key areas:

  • Wage stagnation and inequality
  • Shortfalls in national savings
  • Weak investment in manufacturing plant and equipment
  • Diminishing edge in R&D outlays
  • Poor returns on educational spending
  • Low productivity growth

To compile this year's Competitiveness Index, the Council examined various statistics and surveyed its members -- 123 chief executives from industry, academia and labor. All members were asked a core set of questions regarding national economic competitiveness. They were also questioned about their particular sector (industry/labor or academia). In addition, the Council asked the 54 presidents of its affiliate members (non-profit organizations representing a cross-section of industrial and educational institutions) to complete the survey.

The report is available from the publications office of the Council on Competitiveness at 202/682-4292.