Australia has dropped six places since 2011 in an index of world competitiveness, prepared by a Switzerland-based business school.
The IMD World Competitiveness Centre, which has released reports on world competitiveness for 23 years, measures how well countries manage their economic and human resources to increase their prosperity.
Almost all Asian countries declined in 2011-2012, with the only exception being Hong Kong. The report emphasises that the pressure to help world markets rebound is on the United States, who despite their problems came second in the report.
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