By John S. McClenahen As has been the case for the last four years, the United States again possesses the most competitive economy in the world, according to the 2004 World Competitiveness Yearbook released May 4 by IMD, the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. Singapore is ranked second, Canada third, Australia fourth and Iceland fifth. Rounding out the top 10 IMD rankings are Hong Kong in sixth place, Denmark seventh, Finland eighth, Luxembourg ninth and Ireland tenth. Although it ranks only 23rd among the 60 national and regional economies IMD surveyed in 2004, Japan, with the world's second largest economy, seems to be back on track after a decade-long near absence, notes Stephane Garelli, an IMD professor and the yearbook's director. "This is good news for the world economy that badly needs as many 'locomotives' for growth as possible," he states.