Here, we focus on the indicators that assess and describe three separate dimensions of urban economies and, in so doing, demonstrate the several ways in which cities can implement effective strategies for economic growth. The indicators here also point to the synergies required if this growth is going to lead ultimately to permanent economic potency and depth.
It is this depth that is measured by economic clout, which almost perfectly reflects the economic history of the urban world. It is, therefore, hardly accidental that the top-ranked city in this indicator is London, followed by Beijing, New York, Paris and Shanghai. These are all legendary cities, three of them seats of former empires, with tremendous political, commercial, financial, and cultural sway.
Clout is not a product of brute force but of perpetual management, development, and, especially, resourcefulness. The cities in the top 10 in cost also explode the myth of the inability of mature cities to compete in this indicator.
How does one measure cost? Is cheapest best? Or is it a matter of determining which business environment combines wages and prices in the most efficient, and productive manner possible, both for business in general and for each business in particular?
Regardless of where the cities finish in the final rankings, most mature cities generally do very well in purchasing power. Among the top cities, there are six mature cities; five of them are from North America.