The Association of European Chambers of Commerce in Brussels warned that the transatlantic gap had widened yet further in the past five years by all key measures, despite the pledge by EU leaders at the 2000 Lisbon summit to transform Europe into the world's "most dynamic knowledge-based economy" by the end of the decade.
The EU-wide umbrella group, known as Eurochambres said the EU's overall employment rate was still stuck at levels attained by the United States in 1978, chiefly due to an incentive structure that discourages women from working and prompts early retirement by those in their fifties.
It found that the European Union's research and development levels were achieved by America as long ago as 1979, while the lag time on per capita income is 18 years.
"It will take the EU until 2072 to reach US levels of income per capita, and then only if the EU income growth exceeds that of the US by 0.5pc," the study said.
Christopher Leitl, the president of Eurochambers, urged EU leaders to grasp the nettle of reform at their spring summit this month, or face economic death. "It is a question of survival," he said.