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Australia third most 'economically free'

Australia third most 'economically free' article image
Respected financial publication The Wall Street Journal has released its 16th annual Index of Economic Freedom, placing Hong Kong at the top, followed by Singapore and Australia. Along with The Heritage Foundation, the journal scores 179 countries based on market openness. Accompanying the Index was a report that indicated that "attacks on the free market, fuelled by the economic slowdown and the political appeal of quick interventionist remedies, gained strong momentum in some countries". The Index also showed that countries that moved to a higher category of freedom were those less affected by the global economic downturn, however, "exactly half of the major economies curtailed economic freedom to some degree through various interventionist measures. Perhaps more significant for the long-term progress of economic freedom, the other half did not," according to the Index. The average score for the 2010 Index was 59.4, with a score of 100 representing ideal economic freedom. To be classified as a ‘free economy’ a country needs to score 80 or higher, with only seven countries achieving that grade:
  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. Ireland
  6. Switzerland
  7. Canada
North Korea was deemed the least free economy in the world.

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