Good News: Despite the financial crisis, the United States continues to be the most competitive economy in the world according to the World Economic Forum's "Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009." (see top chart above) This is because it is endowed with many structural features that make its economy extremely productive and place it on a strong footing to ride out business cycle shifts and economic shocks. Thus, despite rising concerns about the soundness of the banking sector and other macroeconomic weaknesses, the country’s many other strengths continue to make it a very productive environment. The United States is ranked first for innovation, and its markets support this innovative activity through their efficient allocation of resources to their most effective use.
Bad News: However, the United States has built up large macroeconomic imbalances over recent years, with repeated fiscal deficits leading to rising and burgeoning levels of public indebtedness. This indicates that the country is not preparing financially for its future liabilities and is on the road to making interest payments that will increasingly restrict its fiscal policy freedom going into the future.
The three most problematic factors for doing business in the U.S. are 1) tax rates, 2) tax regulations and 3) inefficient government bureaucracy (see bottom chart).