The financial crisis and its aftermath may be taking a longer-term toll on the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.

Money-RollsThe financial crisis and its aftermath may be taking a longer-term toll on the competitiveness of the U.S. economy, according to a study by the World Economic Forum.

The U.S. fell two spots, to rank No. 4 behind Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore in the Geneva-based organization’s annual survey of global competitiveness. Germany climbed two notches to end in fifth place; Japan was ranked No. 6.

“The [U.S.] public does not demonstrate strong trust of politicians,” while the business community “considers that the government spends its resources relatively wastefully,” the group concluded from its study.

The report is based on surveys and a wide range of economic data.

“There is also increasing concern related to the functioning of [U.S.] private institutions, with a measurable weakening of the assessment of auditing and reporting standards as well as corporate ethics,” the group said.

The annual competitiveness study evaluates countries based on various criteria, ranging from their macroeconomic policies, the strength of public and private institutions and the quality of education and infrastructure to the efficiency of markets for goods, labor and capital.

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Source: Jon Hilsenrath | The Wall Street Journal