While the street was busy trying to figure the nation's next move in Syria, the Fed was busy planning the next move with respect to its "accommodations" and there were more signs the global economy is gaining traction.
We began the week with outstanding news for global manufacturing, which saw amazing acceleration. That development was backed up in part yesterday with strong auto sales in the United States and other parts of the world in August.
Still, it doesn't feel like the needle is moving much for our economy and compared to past recoveries it continues to lag. Then again that missing element isn't just a gut feeling but part of why America only ranked fifth in the latest reading of global competitiveness.
Good news since America came in seventh year before.
The Nation that Took Competition to Another Level
The World Economic Forum puts together its competitive index through 12 "pillars" that measure different critical elements.
The report underscores so many issues I've written about for years. These problems have gotten worse in the past few years and are easy to solve if we have the political will or if we think competiveness is critical to a better life for all Americans.
Check out the most problematic factors harming American competitiveness in order of detriment:
> Tax Regulations
> Tax Rates
> Inefficient Government Bureaucracy
> Access to Financing
> Restrictive Labor Restrictions
> Poor Work Ethic
> Policy Instability
It's hard to believe the kind of advantages America used to have and take for granted against the rest of the world. Now Rwanda and Bahrain rank higher for property rights. Granted this is a Euro-centric report but the areas of American weakness are valid. Moreover, the rest of the world seems to embrace with vigor things we are taking for granted or even rejecting. Of the 12 pillars only our market size ranks America number one. I suspect if there was a way to rank dormant latency with respect to economic competitiveness and desire to be the best America would rank number one.
Time to wake up before it's too late to reclaim the top spot.
The Fed's Beige Book was mostly grey with a chance of so-so as the words "moderate" and "moderately" dominated observations of local economies.
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