The Economist (June 14) mentions MasterCard's ranking of the world's leading centers of commerce. The MC report (Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index) is available online and makes interesting reading. Seventy-two sub-indicators define 43 indicators that make up seven dimensions (legal and political framework, economic stability, ease of doing business, etc.) with various weights. An international panel of experts is cited as the rankers and authors.
I like the Fraser Institute's Freedom of the World project and have used its data. It has been around for a while and there has been some vetting. It would be wonderful to have a useful cities index too.
Trouble is that this one places Philadelphia ahead of Boston (#18 vs #21). And Philadelphia came out of nowhere (unranked in 2007) to its top-twenty-in-the-world spot in 2008. Boston fell from #13.
We'll have to wait and see what they come up with next year.