I'd say that's true enough--if all you're counting for is run time.
If you measure speed in terms of time it takes to get an answer--including the time it took to develop the program--and efficiency in terms of both human and hardware costs, then that might not be so true.
A higher-level language is usually closer to the way people think about solving a problem than it is to the way a digital computer operates. That can (and does!) save a lot of expensive human time. If you have an application that won't run that many times, or changes requirements frequently, or when time-to-market is more important than numbers on a benchmark, then higher-level tools can be both faster overall and less expensive.
Most of the Web runs on interpreted code, for just those reasons. A compiled language like C++ could be used on the server side, but usually isn't. Too expensive to develop and keep up-to-date.