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Madagascar, Economy

Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries, with a gross domestic product of $3.9 billion, or $250 per person, in 2000. The economy remains, as in colonial times, predominantly agricultural, with 77 percent of the labor force engaged in agricultural activities. Many operations controlled by French interests were nationalized in 1975. During the 1980s the agricultural sector was affected by frequent cyclones and depressed prices for the country’s primary exports, and in the early 1990s strikes and political instability associated with a change in government limited economic growth. The government’s budget in 1999 included revenues of $424 million and expenditures of $648 million.

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