While the U.S. clung on to its top spot in the ranking for 2015, with Hong Kong and Singapore just behind, Greece bounced from 57th place to 50th.
That may seem pretty low—the IMD only rated 61 countries in total—but it's surprising for a country that is locked in dispute with international bailout supervisors and hampered by a hard-left government that is threatening to default on its debts.
The IMD highlighted improvements to Greek investment flows abroad and a recent uptick in real gross domestic product (GDP), with the economy expanding by 0.8 percent in 2014 after six years of declines.
The IMD also rated Greece highly for the availability of skilled labor, placing it in an impressive second place out of all 61 countries on this measure. Greece also scored second place for its number of qualified engineers, pupil-teacher ratio in primary schools and level of secondary school enrollment.
So why is Greece at risk of leaving the euro zone, rather than leading it? Once factor is that one-quarter of its working population is out of work, placing it bottom of the IMD's rankings for unemployment. It is also bottom of the pile for tax evasion, pension funding and sovereign credit rating, with Greece awarded a speculative CCC+ grade by Standard & Poor's.