Economy got you down? 5 Ways America is still on top

However gloomy the U.S. economy might look, the nation still leads the world in many ways. For now, anyway.

America's upside
America's upside
It's clear that all is not well in the U.S. marketplace: Unemployment is high. Investors worry about the implications of enormous debts and deficits at home and across Europe. The U.S. housing market has been a mess since the collapse of home prices in 2007 and is showing few signs of improvement. We've lost faith in our politicians. It's hard not to wonder if the U.S. has lost its competitive edge.

Emerging economies are catching up rapidly. China, the world's second-largest economy next to the U.S., expects an average of 9% growth a year for the next decade. The U.S., whose economy barely grew during the first half of this year, will be lucky to see much more than 2% growth this year.

But amid the doom and gloom, the U.S. is still the place most investors and businesses around the world turn to for opportunity -- even though Brazil, Russia and other emerging economies are increasingly catching up. Analysts at U.S. Trust, the private wealth management division of Bank of America, recently reminded clients in a note about "What's right with America."

Fortune highlights five of those points, along with a dose of analysis and -- ahem -- skepticism.


By Nin-Hai Tseng - Last updated September 22 2011: 7:19 AM ET