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4, holding the top spot for a fifth year. Germany and the U.S. rose two slots to fourth and fifth respectively in the Geneva-based organizations 148-nation league. Singapore and Finland retained their second and third positions. Of the 701 respondents, 70 percent forecast economic expansion in 2014, with significant growth in 2015, the Roland Berger study showed. About 53 percent of respondents in northwest Europe expect their competitiveness relative to the region to improve. By contrast, only 10 percent in southwest Europe see an improvement in their position. No Swiss respondents anticipated a worsening of their situation. German Reforms Germany, home to Siemens AG (SIE) , Europes largest engineering company, and Volkswagen AG (VOW) , which is seeking to become the worlds biggest carmaker by 2018, must continue reforming, European Central Bank Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said in a speech in Dautphetal-Buchenau on Aug. 27. Germany and Europe are dependent upon exports, so we have to see to what extent regulatory issues lead to problems, Roland Bergers Falckenberg said. Competitiveness in France is more difficult. The government is making it harder for businesses to shut operations if the business does not work. And this makes the French market less attractive to investors. Europes competitiveness compared to Asia will decline in the next three years, according to 64 percent of respondents in the survey, while 49 percent expect it to worsen when compared to North America .

Europe closes higher on US debt deal optimism, Burberry tumbles

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 closed higher by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 closed higher by 0.8 percent and the German DAX closed up 1 percent. House Speaker John Boehner said the Republicans were still involved with talks with House Democrats, but no deal has emerged so far on Tuesday. Earlier, House Republican leaders proposed a plan that would fund the government past year-end and allow the Treasury Department to borrow normally until February 7. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized the proposal , saying it would not pass through Senate. The debate came with the partial government shutdown now in its third week, and less than two days before the Treasury says it will be unable to continue borrowing. IBEX 35 — Back in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance said it was likely to hold a third round of talks with the Social Democratic Party later this week, with regards to forming a coalition government . Meanwhile, German economic sentiment rose more than expected in October, on signs the euro zone crisis may be waning, a survey by the ZEW economic think tank showed. Its poll rose to 52.8 in October from 49.6 in September, the highest level since April 2010. “Today’s ZEW index gives the impression that analysts believe in the invulnerability of the German economy…The new dark clouds coming from the other side of the Atlantic have not yet blacked out analysts’ optimism,” said Carsten Brzeski, senior economist at ING. In the U.K., inflation remained at 2.7 percent in September, according to the Office for National Statistics, going against economists’ forecasts which had indicated a slight tick down to 2.6 percent. In stock news, Burberry Group was the sharpest faller on the FTSE, after it announced that Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey would replace long-standing Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts, who is heading to Apple .