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Trading in violation of publicly imposed regulations such as rationing laws, laws against the sale of certain goods, and official rates of exchange among currencies. Black-market activity is common in wartime, when scarce goods and services are often strictly rationed (seerationing). Black-market foreign-exchange transactions flourish in countries where convertible foreign currency is scarce and foreign exchange is tightly controlled.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on black market, visit Britannica.com.