Monday Report
US World Comtetitiveness June 9th, 2008

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The Global Competitiveness Report 2007- 2008

Higher Education and Training

Quality higher education and training is crucial for economies that want to move up the value chain beyond simple production processes and products.13 In particular, today's globalizing economy requires economies to nur¬ture pools of well-educated workers who are able to adapt rapidly to their changing environment. To capture this concept, this pillar measures secondary and tertiary enrollment rates as well as the quality of education as assessed by the business community. The importance of vocational and continuous on-the-job training, neglected in many economies, cannot be overstated, as it ensures a constant upgrading of workers' skills to the changing needs of the production system.

Health and Primary Education

A healthy workforce is vital to a country's competitiveness and productivity. Workers who are ill cannot function to their potential, and will be less productive. Poor health leads to significant costs to business, as sick workers are often absent or operate at lower levels of efficiency. Invest¬ment in the provision of health services is thus critical for clear economic, as well as moral, considerations.12

In addition to health, this pillar takes into account the quantity and quality of basic education received by the population, which is increasingly important in today's economy. Basic education increases the efficiency of each individual worker, making the economy more productive. Furthermore, a workforce that has received little formal education can carry out only basic manual tasks and finds it much more difficult to adapt to more advanced production processes and techniques. A short-age of qualified administrative staff might also have a negative impact on overall business performance. Lack of basic education can therefore become a constraint on business development, with firms finding it difficult to move up the value chain by producing more sophisticat¬ed or value-intensive products.

How does the US rate?

Global Competitiveness - Higher Education and Training - 2007/2008

CountryRank Score
Denmark3 5.96
Taiwan, China45.73
United States55.68
Korea, Rep.65.65
Switzerland7 5.63
Iceland8 5.62
Norway9 5.60
Netherlands10 5.57
Belgium11 5.57
New Zealand125.53
Canada13 5.49
Australia14 5.46
United Kingdom155.42
Singapore16 5.42
Austria17 5.40
Germany20 5.33
Japan22 5.21
Estonia23 5.18
Slovenia24 5.08
Lithuania25 4.98

Global Competitiveness - Health and Primary Education - 2007/2008

CountryRank Score
Denmark3 6.45
New Zealand46.45
Taiwan, China66.43
Norway7 6.39
Barbados9 6.35
Netherlands10 6.32
Israel11 6.32
Belgium13 6.31
Switzerland14 6.30
Austria15 6.29
Australia17 6.26
Singapore19 6.24
United Kingdom216.16
Slovenia22 6.16
Italy25 6.08
Malaysia26 6.08
Korea, Rep.276.08
Hong Kong SAR286.06
Czech Republic296.06
Portugal32 6.04
Montenegro33 6.00
United States346.00

Source: World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report, 2007-2008


  • Designer Greetings
  • Designer Greetings operates 200 locations nationwide.
  • The card shops occupy spaces of 3,000 sq.ft. in malls and power and strip centers.
  • Growth opportunities are sought west of the Mississippi River during the coming 18 months.
  • Typical leases run five years with options.
  • A vanilla shell and tenant improvement allowance are required.
  • Preferred demographics include a population of 50,000 within three miles earning $50,000 to $75,000 as the average household income.
  • For more information, contact
    • Gary Stevens,
    • Designer Greetings,
    • PO Box 2368,
    • Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352;
    • Web site:
  • Green Valley Grocery
  • Midjit Market, Inc. trades as Green Valley Grocery at 35 locations throughout NV.
  • The convenience stores, featuring gasoline facilities and a deli, occupy spaces of 3,500 sq.ft. in freestanding locations. Growth opportunities are sought throughout the existing market during the coming 18 months.
  • Typical leases run 20 years.
  • A land area of 50,000 sq.ft. is required.
  • For more information, contact
    • Richard Crawford, 1
    • 580 South Jones Boulevard,
    • Las Vegas, NV 89146.
  • Limited Brands
  • Limited Brands operates 1,546 locations nationwide.
  • The stores, selling soaps, body sprays and other cosmetics, occupy spaces of 2,500 sq.ft. to 3,000 sq.ft. in lifestyle and power centers as well as malls.
  • Growth opportunities are sought throughout the existing market during the coming 18 months.
  • For more information, contact
    • Director of Real Estate,
    • Limited Brands,
    • 3 Limited Parkway, Columbus, OH 43230;
    • Web site:
  • Hallmark
  • Hallmark operates 3,700 locations nationwide.
  • The stores, selling greeting cards and gifts, occupy spaces of 3,000 sq.ft. to 3,600 sq.ft. in lifestyle and power centers.
  • Growth opportunities are sought throughout southern CA during the coming 18 months, with representation by Present Value Properties, Inc.
  • Preferred cotenants include Wal*Mart, Target and soft-good retailers.
  • For more information, contact
    • Jared Davis,
    • Present Value Properties, Inc.,
    • 1590 North Batavia Street, Suite 2,
    • Orange, CA 92867;
    • Web site:


US Global Competitiveness

Higher Education and Training

Health and Primary Education

  • Where do we stand?
  • Who is doing better?
  • Who is ranked lower?

Bob Springmeyer

Bonneville Research

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      • Construction Grant Program
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      • Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program: Tribal Transit Program
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      • FUNDING SOURCE: Dept. of Transportation
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      • Small Business Development Center
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      • FUNDING SOURCE: Small Business Administration
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      • DEADLINE: 7/24/08
      • CONTACT INFORMATION: program_office/sbdc_program_announcement_2009. pdf
      • DESCRIPTION: Grants to help small business development centers provide high quality business and economic development assistance to small businesses and nascent entrepreneurs.

    • Global Business Confidence - Improving
    • Global business confidence notably improved in May. While sentiment remains very weak and fragile, it is well above its April low. Expectations regarding the six-month outlook are negative but are as strong as they have been since the end of 2007. Sentiment has improved most among real estate firms, perhaps signaling that the housing free fall is abating. Pricing pressures also remain contained given soaring energy and other commodity prices. Hiring intentions have not improved appreciably, however. Confidence remains weakest in the U.S., where it suggests the economy is contracting, and remains best in Asia, where it is consistent with an economy growing near its potential.
    • Bankruptcy Filings
    • Personal bankruptcy filings continue to increase from their post-reform lows, though at a slow pace. Filings in the first quarter were 26% above last year, but remained 35% below the fourth quarter of 2004, before reform legislation and in a better credit environment. Personal filings remain exceptionally low, especially given the current credit environment. Business bankruptcies are also trending higher, rising 39% in the first quarter. Personal and business bankruptcies will continue to trend higher, particularly provided the more restrictive backdrop.
    • Productivity and Costs
    • Productivity growth for the first quarter was revised higher. Nonfarm business productivity grew 2.6% (SAAR), compared with 2.2% in the preliminary release; the consensus was for 2.5%. The revision was due to an upward revision to output growth. Growth in unit labor costs was not revised, remaining at 2.2% (SAAR); the consensus expected a downward revision. Stronger reported growth in compensation offset higher productivity. Productivity growth is good despite the weak economy, and the labor market presents little inflationary threat right now.
    • Semiconductor Billings
    • Global semiconductor sales rose slightly in April (0.4%) to $21.25 billion on a three-month moving average basis. Sales are now 5.9% higher than in April of last year, with gains seen in all regions of the world.
    • Factory Orders (M3)
    • Factory orders rose 1.1% in April, a much larger increase than expected. The huge gain from a 2.8% rise in nondurable goods orders offset a 0.6% decline in durable goods orders. Petroleum and coal shipments led the way on new orders, but food shipments and chemical products shipments were up handily as well.
    • Construction Spending (C30)
    • Construction spending decreased by 0.4% in April, slightly less than expected. Private construction declined by 0.5%, driven down by a 2.3% decline in residential construction. Public construction decreased by 0.3%.
    • Vehicle Sales - AutoData
    • Vehicle sales weakened further in May as gas prices continued to climb. Total sales fell to 14.27 million units (SAAR) down from 14.4 million units in April. This was their lowest pace in 10 years. They were down 13% from a year ago. Light truck sales plummeted while car sales strengthened.
    • Major Job Cuts
    • Job cuts rose for a second month. The number of workers affected by job cuts totaled 103,522 in May. This is the first time since September 2006 that the measure exceeded 100,000. In April cuts totaled 90,000. Continued restructuring in the auto industry contributed to the May increase.
    • MBA Mortgage Applications Survey
    • The market composites finished down for the week ending May 30. Coincident with a significant increase in 30-year fixed contract rates, both the purchase index and the refinance index fell substantially. The purchase index fell by 5.4% from last week, while the refinance index fell by no less than 25.7% from one week ago. The combined market index fell by 15.3% from last week. There is thus no sign that the mortgage market has reached bottom yet.
    • Chain Store Sales
    • Chain store sales are weakening again. Sales fell 0.8% in the week ending May 31 according to the ICSC. Sales have fallen in five of the last seven weeks and were unchanged in one of the other two. Year- over-year growth slipped to 1.2%. Sales suffered from unseasonably cool weather and soaring gasoline prices but were supported by federal tax rebates.
    • Oil and Gas Inventories
    • Crude oil inventories fell by an outsized 4.8 million barrels for the week ending May 30, according to the Energy Information Administration, compared with expectations of an 0.8 million barrel build. Gasoline inventories rose by 2.9 million barrels, above expectations of a 0.4 million barrel draw. Distillate supplies rose by 2.3 million barrels, topping expectations of a 1.4 million barrel build. Refinery operating capacity rose to 89.7%, which is the highest level since the beginning of the year. This report is bullish.

    Source: 2008

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    As some of you may know I am the Democratic Candidate for Utah Governor.

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