After a meager annual growth rate of 1.8 percent a year in the 1960s, construction boomed in the 1970s, expanding nearly 14 percent a year, faster than any other sector except assembly manufacturing. From the 1970s onward, the construction industry had concentrated on infrastructure developments, industrial structures related to the assembly subsector, and extravagant residential housing in Port-au-Prince and its exclusive suburb, Pétionville. The growing demand for construction caused cement output to increase from 150,000 tons a year in 1975 to 220,000 tons a year by 1985. Growth was positive, but uneven, in the 1980s, mainly as a result of political and economic turmoil. The construction industry generally failed to benefit Haiti's poor, who continued to build their own dwellings with a mixture of raw materials, mostly wood and palm thatch in rural areas and corrugated metal, cardboard, or wood in urban shantytowns.
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