U.S. businesses are lagging behind those in smaller nations when it comes to adopting high-tech corporate intelligence as research tool to asses their competitors, according to a survey of over 450 companies worldwide by Fuld & Company.

The survey found companies in Israel, India, Sweden, and Brazil tended to have the best intelligence users for market research, the Cambridge Mass.-based consulting firm reported.

Over 60 percent of the highest ranked companies worldwide had corporate intelligence budgets of over $1 million, including many that exceeded $ 2 million, the survey found.

"Management at major corporations worldwide are increasingly having their guidance shaped by competitive intelligence and the internal organizations which support it --suggesting that this asset has a value in excess of its capital investment," Leonard Fuld, the firm's president, said in a statement.