The US is still the most competitive economy in the wold but China is gaining ground, according to a new study. Singapore and Hong Kong came in second and third places in the index of 55 countries released by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Reuters reported. The index measures economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. China moved up three spots to 15th place. Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden were other big gainers. South Africa, Japan, Finland and Australia lost ground. The emergence of Russia and India was likely to cause some concern to European and North American powers, said IMD Professor Stephane Garelli. "They will not accept the loss of some of their 'business jewels' to newcomers without a fight," he said. "We shall thus face a year of rising protectionist measures."