April 9th Monday Report - Global Rankings - Competitiveness, IT & Gender Gap
April 9th, 2007

Economic Notes:

This Weeks Leads:



Global Rankings

Global Report 2006-2007

Switzerland, Finland and Sweden are the world’s most competitive economies according to The Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007, released by the World Economic Forum.

Denmark, Singapore, the United States, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom complete the top ten list, but the United States shows the most pronounced drop, falling from first to sixth.

The rankings are drawn from a combination of publicly available hard data and the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the Report. This year, over 11,000 business leaders were polled in a record 125 economies worldwide. Order the report>>

"The top rankings of Switzerland and the Nordic countries show that good institutions and competent macroeconomic management, coupled with world- class educational attainment and a focus on technology and innovation, are a successful strategy for boosting competitiveness in an increasingly complex global economy."

Country Rankings 2006-2007

  1. Switzerland
  2. Finland
  3. Sweden
  4. Denmark
  5. Singapore
  6. US
  7. Japan
  8. Germany
  9. Netherlands
  10. UK
  11. Hong Kong
  12. Norway
  13. Taiwan,China
  14. Iceland
  15. Israel

Global Information Technology Report 2006-2007

Since it was first launched in 2001, The Global Information Technology Report has become a valuable and unique benchmarking tool to determine national ICT strengths and weaknesses, and to evaluate progress. It also highlights the continuing importance of ICT application and development for economic growth.

The Report uses the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) to measure the degree of preparation of a nation or community to participate in and benefit from ICT developments.

The NRI is composed of three component indexes which assess:

  • environment for ICT offered by a country or community
  • readiness of the community's key stakeholders (individuals, business and governments)
  • usage of ICT among these stakeholders.
  1. Denmark
  2. Sweden
  3. Singapore
  4. Finland
  5. Switzerland
  6. Netherlands
  7. US
  8. Iceland
  9. UK
  10. Norway
  11. Canada
  12. Hong Kong SAR
  13. Taiwan, China
  14. Japan
  15. Australia

The Global Gender Gap Report 2006

The Nordic countries, Sweden (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Iceland (4), top the latest Gender Gap Index. Germany (5), the Philippines (6), New Zealand (7), Denmark (8), the United Kingdom (9) and Ireland (10) complete the top 10 countries with the smallest "gender gap".

The Global Gender Gap Report 2006 covers all current and candidate European Union countries, 20 from Latin America and the Caribbean, over 20 from sub-Saharan Africa and 10 from the Arab world. Together, the 115 economies cover over 90% of the world’s population. The index mainly uses publicly available "hard data" indicators drawn from international organizations and some qualitative information from the Forum’s own Executive Opinion Survey. The Global Gender Gap Report 2006 includes an innovative new methodology including detailed profiles of each economy that provide insight into the economic, legal and social aspects of the gender gap. The Report measures the size of the gender gap in four critical areas of inequality between men and women:

  • Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
  • Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education
  • Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures
  • Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio

This year marks an important progression in the Report’s methodology, with the adoption of a new tool that focuses on the relative size of the gender gap rather than levels of women’s empowerment and access. The new methodology is the result of collaboration between Ricardo Hausmann, Director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University, Laura D. Tyson, Dean of the London Business School and Saadia Zahidi, Head of the World Economic Forum’s Women Leaders Programme.

Gender Gap Index 2006

  1. Sweden - 0.8133
  2. Norway - 0.7994
  3. Finland - 0.7958
  4. Iceland - 0.7813
  5. Germany - 0.7524
  6. Philippines - 0.7516
  7. N. Zealand - 0.7509
  8. Denmark - 0.7462
  9. UK - 0.7365
  10. Ireland - 0.7335

Source: World Economic Forum, 2007

Management Notes

Boost Performance with Performance Reviews

Small businesses (Small Governments) that skip this corporate ritual are missing opportunities to improve productivity.

Note: Mayors, City Managers, Public Officials - Everywhere it says “corporate” or “company” or “business” make your own appropriate substitutions.

One of the allures of running your own business can be getting away from the bureaucratic nonsense that puts sand in the gears of many big organizations. But one ritual of big business—if carried out correctly— can make your enterprise far more effective. It is the employee performance review.

According to studies over the past decade by Mark Huselid, professor of human resource strategy in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University, businesses that conduct regular employee appraisals and use other “best practices” of human resource management are able to increase the overall effectiveness of their organizations, enjoying improved morale, increased performance, higher productivity—and a dramatic boost in profitability, as a result.

By how much? According to Huselid’s data, companies that implement top-notch human-resource practices have reduced turnover by 7%, increased sales-per-employee by more than $27,000 a year, enhanced profitability by more than $4,000 per employee, and increased their market value by more than $18,000 per employee.

Regular performance reviews are not just about offering encouragement to good performers and addressing the shortcomings of others. They can help you uncover hidden problems. And, they let employees know how critical their contributions are to the firm’s success. “They send the message to employees that you care, you know them, and you’re on top of things,” says Michael Lara, CEO of Benison International Group in Miami, a provider of tech products and consulting services. “They keep you on track for excellence.”

So why do so many small businesses neglect to review employees? “People are uncomfortable judging people,” says Robert Chanin, director of human resources for The Alcott Group, a professional employer organization that provides HR and other services. “A lot of managers dread the thought of sitting across from somebody for that annual one-on- one, especially if they don’t have pleasant news.”

As many as one quarter of American workers don’t get regular appraisals, according to a 2006 survey by Adecco Staffing North America, a global provider of workforce services. “They simply may think they don’t need to,” says Bernadette Kenny, Adecco's chief career officer

But, without performance reviews, you may be flying blind. “In a small business in particular, the performance review is like a dashboard—it gives you all kinds of gauges about quality, job knowledge, customer service,” says Chanin. “If there isn’t any gauge, you don’t know if your business is doing well or not.”

The performance review process can be a great motivational tool, too. “They’re one of the tools businesses can use to get employees more involved, increase their motivation, and help them achieve success,” says Barrie Gross, a human resources expert and employment law attorney who heads Barrie Gross Consulting, a San Francisco-based HR training and consulting firm.

Evaluations can also help you transform sub-par people into performers, rather than lose them, says employment law attorney Lynn D. Lieber, the CEO and founder of Workplace Answers in San Francisco, a provider of Web-based training in human resources, financial, legal, and ethics compliance. “The key,” Lieber says, “is to give the person notice that there’s a problem, and offer them a sincere opportunity to improve.”

In her own shop, Lieber used a performance review to let a sales rep know that she was spending too much time yakking and surfing the Internet. “We told her, ‘Here’s how many people you need to call per day, you need to check in with this number of existing customers a week, no more gossiping, no celebrity Web sites in between phone calls, and you have to check in with your manager once a week so we can make sure there’s progress,’ ” Lieber says. She also gave the employee 90 days to clean up her act. “The woman worked very hard to correct the behaviors,” Lieber says. “And at the end of the 90 days she was working at top capacity.”

Patricia Thorp, president and founder of the Coral Gables, Fla.-based public relations firm Thorp & Co., credits an annual performance review with saving her company from a disastrous talent exodus. “One of my most valued employees told me she’d just turned down a job that offered her 25% more money,” says Thorp. “That was really a red flag for me.” She realized that industry salaries had taken a sudden leap upward, and Thorp & Co. risked losing key staffers. “I immediately raised the woman’s salary to match the offer, and everybody at her level got a heck of a raise, too,” Thorp says.

Lara, of Benison International, a former Army staff sergeant, says his military background convinced him of the value of frequent performance reviews. During their 90-day probationary period, he reviews new employees every 30 days—and every six months afterward. In between, he uses evaluation tools like “mystery shoppers” to test how employees perform. “Twelve years in the military sold me on the importance of this,” notes Lara. In the service, he says, monthly sit-downs with soldiers keeps them motivated and revealed potential problems.“I realized early on it would work for my business, too,” he says.

Lara, who used downloaded free performance- review forms from Web sites such as HR.com, is now upgrading to a comprehensive “human capital management” program from Success Factors. Starting at about $8 per user per month, it allows managers to create online appraisal forms, set goals, track employee progress and get detailed reports on results. The system automatically sends evaluation forms to employees at review time.

In companies with fewer than 10 employees, a formal process—with multi-page evaluation forms and sophisticated software--might seem impractical. But, the experts say, it is important to create a routine review process. It’s an easy way to help the business owner learn what’s working well and what isn’t—and head off performance problems, before they start affecting the bottom line.

Source: Small Business Review, 2007


April 9th Monday Report - Global Rankings - Competitiveness, IT & Gender Gap

  • Who has good institutions and competent management?
  • Who has world-class educational attainment and a focus on technology and innovation, ?
  • Who has a successful strategy for boosting competitiveness in an increasingly complex global economy?
  • Who is prepared to participate in and benefit from IT developments
  • Who is wasting critical human resources?

Blight? Economic Development? Jobs? Developers asking for too much?

  • Interested in what the Utah Legislature did to Eminent Domain?

Bonneville Research has prepared a short and understandable presentation that can answer these questions!

  • If you are a city wondering how to “turn a problem area around” – give us a call!
  • If you are wondering how to create an effective “public/private partnership” – give us a call!
  • If you are a city worried that you're “getting gouged” by a developer asking for incentives – give us a call!
  • If you are a developer wondering how to make a marginal project work – give us a call!
  • If you are a city wondering how much TIF and sales tax revenues might be available – give us a call!
  • If you are a city worried that the newly proposed "big box" is going to force your local business to close – give us a call!

Bonneville Research would like to help you with these challenges!

    Bonneville Research


  • Economic Notes:
    • Construction Spending (C30)
    • Construction spending increased 0.3% in February. Private construction increased 0.2%, hurt by a 1.0% decline in residential construction. In addition, public construction increased 0.4%. Using January's preliminary numbers would result in a 0.7% decline, which is more in line with the estimate of a 0.3% decline.
    • Personal Income
    • Personal income rose 0.6% in February, above expectations but below the bonus inflated 1.0% growth in January. Spending rose 0.6%, up from January’s unrevised 0.5% gain and also above expectations. The core PCE deflator was up 0.3%, the fastest increase since last August while the topline deflator rose 0.4%, the fastest since last April. The saving rate rose to -1.2%.
    • International Business Confidence
    • Business confidence edged a bit lower last week, but rose again on a four-week moving average basis to its highest level since early August of last year. Sentiment is strongest in Asia and South America and among high-tech firms; it is softest in Europe and among vehicle manufacturers. Hiring intentions have improved sharply in recent weeks and the inventory drawdown among manufacturers appears to be winding down. Expectations regarding the six-month outlook have steadily strengthened since hitting bottom at the end of 2006. Sentiment is now consistent with global growth that is equal to its potential.
    • ISM Non-Mfg.Index
    • Business activity in the non-manufacturing sectors of the economy continued its retrenchment in March, falling 1.9 points to 52.4%. This retrenchment ran opposite the estimates of the consensus but in line with those of Moody's Economy.com.
    • Factory Orders (M3)
    • Factory orders rose 1.0% in February, a slower than expected gain. The gain followed a 5.7% decline in January. Durable goods orders were revised down to show a 1.7% gain rather than the 2.5% increase as first reported. Nondurable goods orders were up 0.2%. Inventories of nondurable goods fell 0.2%.
    • Monster Employment Index
    • The Monster Employment Index increased another eight points in March, with a reading of 185 compared to 177 in February. The details of the report were equally upbeat with most industries and occupations and all U.S. Census regions seeing an increase during the month. This is a continuation of last month’s trend of improving online job demand.
    • Case-Shiller Home Price Indices
    • House-price appreciation is weakening, according to the Case-Shiller repeat-purchase house price indices, although the price gains remain substantial in some regions. Appreciation in the national index has slowed to a crawl, at an increase of 0.4% y/y. Regionally, New England is doing the worst, while West South Central is doing the best. Of the 379 MSAs covered, 60 are registering a y/y decline.
    • MBA Mortgage Applications Survey
    • Mortgage demand decreased 3.2% in the week ending March 30. Purchase applications decreased 2.0% and refinance applications decreased 4.5%. The housing market is weak and negatively impacting on domestic growth.
    • Chain Store Sales
    • Chain store sales rose 0.3% in the week ending March 31, the fourth consecutive modest gain. Year- over-year growth increased to 4.9%, the strongest growth in nine weeks. Warm weather boosted results.
    • Auto Sales
    • Vehicle sales weakened slightly in March, to a seasonally adjusted annualized pace of 16.3 million units, from 16.6 million in February. Weaker light truck sales drove the total down; car sales inched higher.
    • Oil and Gas Inventories
    • Crude oil inventories surged by 4.3 million barrels for the week ending March 30, according to the Energy Information Administration, far above expectations of a 600,000 barrel build. Gasoline stocks fell by five million barrels, also far greater than the 0.3 million barrel draw expected. Refinery activity and distillate inventories held steady. Despite the surprise build in crude, the sharp draw in gasoline makes this a bullish report for prices.
    • Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report
    • Underground storage of natural gas increased by 58 billion cubic feet during the week ending March 30. This was very close to expectations for an injection of about 50 Bcf. Inventories are now 27.4% above the five-year average. This report is likely to add some bearish pressure to prices.

  • This Weeks Leads:
    • Ambria, Antico Posto, Ben Pao, Big Bowl, Di Pescara, Foodlife, Joe's Seafood, Maggiano's, Magic Pan Crepe Stand, Osteria Via Stato, Vong's Thai Kitchen, Wow Bao, Brasserie Jo, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, Eiffel Tower, Everest, L.Woods, Mity Nice Grill, Mon Ami Gabi, Nacional 27, Papagus, Rj Grunts, Don & Charlies, Petterino's, Scoozi, Shaw's Crab House, Tru, Tucci Bennucch, Twin City Grill and Wildfire
    • Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises trades as Ambria, Antico Posto, Ben Pao, Big Bowl, Di Pescara, Foodlife, Joe's Seafood, Maggiano's, Magic Pan Crepe Stand, Osteria Via Stato, Vong's Thai Kitchen, Wow Bao, Brasserie Jo, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, Eiffel Tower, Everest, L.Woods, Mity Nice Grill, Mon Ami Gabi, Nacional 27, Papagus, Rj Grunts, Don & Charlies, Petterino's, Scoozi, Shaw's Crab House, Tru, Tucci Bennucch, Twin City Grill and Wildfire at 50 locations throughout AZ, IL, MN, NV and Washington, DC.
    • The restaurants occupy spaces of 5,000 sq.ft. to 7,500 sq.ft. in downtown areas.
    • Growth opportunities are sought throughout Atlanta, GA; IL, NV and Washington, DC during the coming 18 months.
    • Typical leases run 10 years.
    • Send site submittals to:
    • Jay Stieber,
      • Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises,
      • 5419 North Sheridan Road,
      • Chicago, IL 60640;
      • Web site: www.leye.com.
    • 10 Spot / Madrag
    • 10 Spot / Madrag operates 29 locations throughout CT, MA, NJ, NY, PA and RI.
    • The stores, selling discount women’s plus size and juniors apparel, occupy spaces of 4,000 sq.ft. to 6,000 sq.ft. in power and strip centers and urban/downtown areas.
    • Plans call for five openings throughout the existing markets during the coming 18 months.
    • Typical leases run 10 years with options.
    • A vanilla shell and specific improvements are required.
    • Preferred cotenants include Wal*Mart.
    • Preferred demographics include a population of 100,000 within three miles earning $35,000 to $50,000 as the average household income.
    • Send site submittals to:
      • Nathan Hoffman,
      • 10 Spot / Madrag, 30 Seaview Drive, Secaucus, NJ, 07094.
    • Mark Shale
    • Al Baskin Co. trades as Mark Shale at eight locations throughout GA, IL, MO and TX.
    • The apparel stores occupy spaces of 12,000 sq.ft. to 20,000 sq.ft. in freestanding locations, malls and urban/downtown areas.
    • Growth opportunities are sought in affluent trade areas nationwide during the coming 18 months.
    • Send site submittals to:
      • Scott Baskin,
      • AL Baskin Co.,
      • 10441 Beaudin Boulevard, Suite 100,
      • Woodrige, IL 60517;
      • Web site: www.markshale.com.
    • Comfort One Shoes
    • Comfort One Shoes, Inc. trades as Comfort One Shoes at 21 locations throughout MD, VA and Washington, DC.
    • The stores occupy spaces of 1,000 sq.ft. to 3,000 sq.ft. in freestanding locations in addition to lifestyle and specialty centers.
    • Plans call for two openings throughout the existing markets in the next 18 months.
    • Preferred cotenants include Chico’s and White House.
    • A vanilla shell and specific improvements are required.
    • Preferred demographics include a population of 100,000 within a two-mile radius earning an average household income above $80,000.
    • A typical lease runs 10 years.
    • Mail site submittals to:
      • Maurice Breton,
      • Comfort One Shoes,
      • PO Box 472,
      • Manassas, VA 20108;
      • Web site: www.comfortoneshoes.com.

  • Bonneville Research relies by the quality and relevance of our client work.

    Bonneville Research is committed to excellence.

    • We live where we work.
    • We don't "parachute" in, prepare a "canned" report, and then fly out of town.

    We work to help clients achieve enduring results and improve the communities in which we live.

    If you need a superior team of outstanding people working fluidly together to solve your toughest problems.

    If you need someone who can work side-by-side with you together to achieve your mission.

    If you need results that enure.

    Think Bonneville Research


    Bonneville Research is a Utah-based consulting firm providing economic, financial, market and policy research to public and private sector clients throughout the intermountain west.

    Our services include:

    • Urban Renewal/Redevelopment Analysis and Budgets
      • "Blight" Studies
      • Benefit Analysis
      • Financial Analysis
      • Project Area Budgets
    • Strategy and Policy Analysis
    • Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis
    • Statistical and Survey Research

    Each of our studies is tailored to address the unique needs of our clients and their communities.

    If we can help, please call or email us at

    • Bob
      • 801-364-5300
      • BobSpring@BonnevilleResearch.com
    • Jon
      • 801-746-5706
      • JonSpring@BonnevilleResearch.com

    Email Marketing by