Britain's economy less stable than Peru
Britain has a less stable economy than Montenegro or Peru, as a result of the mountain of government debt raised to bail out the banks, according to the World Economic Forum.
By Josephine Moulds
The global think-tank ranked the UK 71st in the world for macro-economic stability in a report addressing the relative competitiveness of different countries.
The slide in stability pushed the UK down one place to be ranked the 13th most competitive market in the world, after China, based on its institutions, infrastructure, health and primary education, among many other factors.
The report's authors said: "A significant and growing weakness remains the UK's macro-economic instability, with low national savings, an exploding public-sector deficit (related in large part to recent efforts to bail out the financial sector), and consequential public indebtedness."
The soundness of British banks was ranked 126th in the world, after war-torn Burundi and only four places above Iceland.
The report said the UK does benefit from the efficiency of its labour market, compared with the rest of Europe. Its readiness to embrace technological advances to improve productivity was also praised.
Switzerland topped the table, edging out the US from the number one slot after it was damaged by weaker financial markets.
The Forum's findings conflict with those of the World Bank, which today ranked the UK fifth in the world for ease of doing business, making it the best-placed country in Europe. Its ranking is based on the procedures, time and cost of starting a business, as well as the tax regime, and access to credit.
The World Bank said the UK had eased the process of dealing with construction permits and reduced the time to register property.