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Economic Freedom advances, says 2006 report

The world is economically freer today than it was a year ago, according to the Index of Economic Freedom, released on 4 January 2006 by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. According to the editors of the report, the countries with the most economic freedom also have higher rates of long-term economic growth and are more prosperous than are those with less economic freedom.

Of the 157 countries graded in the 2006 Index, 20 were classified in the number-one-category as ¿free economies¿, followed by mostly free, mostly unfree and repressed economies. Hong Kong and Singapore, the economic jewels of Asia, finished first and second in the rankings. Ireland overtook Luxembourg and Estonia and moved up to No. 3, and Iceland moved up three spaces to No. 5, where it is tied with the United Kingdom. The United States is tied for 9th with Australia and New Zealand, followed by Finland ranked No. 12.

In the study, countries receive a rating on ten broad measures of economic freedom: trade policy, fiscal burden of government, government intervention in the economy, monetary policy, capital flows and foreign investment, banking and finance, wages and prices, property rights, regulation and informal (or black) market activity.

For more information: http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/

2006 Index of Economic Freedom

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