(Newsroom America) -- The United States, despite having the largest economy in the world, fell again in the ranks of global competitiveness, marking the fourth straight year of decline.
The U.S. placed fifth globally last year, but fell two places to seventh this year, according to a World Economic Forum survey released Wednesday.
"A number of weaknesses are chipping away at its competitiveness...the U.S. fiscal imbalances and continued political deadlock over resolving these challenges," Jennifer Blanke, an economist at the Geneva-based WEF, told CNBC.
Business mistrust of government, a lack of macroeconomic stability and concerns about the nation's fiscal health were cited by the WEF as reasons for the downgrade.
Political deadlock over the nation's worsening debt - reported to be in excess of $1.1 trillion this year, marking the fourth straight year of trillion-dollar deficits - led to the U.S. credit rating being downgraded from AAA to AA+ last year.
"If you look at competitiveness, what we are talking about is productivity. It’s countries that are productive that can support the sorts of rising living standards and high wages that everyone is looking for," Blanke said.
The survey ranks 144 countries on 12 indicators of competitiveness. The WEF has been conducting the survey for three decades.
Despite the diminished ranking, the WEF noted the U.S. still remains one of the world's leading innovators, supported by an "excellent" university system, which continues to offer vast opportunities because of the sheer size of its economy, CNBC said.
© 2012 Newsroom America.