This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that from 1999 to 2002, Korea's economy grew rapidly, by an average of 71/4 percent per year. But starting in 2003, the economy has begun to sputter. Growth suddenly stopped in the first half of the year, leapt ahead in the second half as exports boomed, but then slowed again to an anemic 2¾ percent annualized rate during January-September 2004 as exports decelerated. The authorities have been countering this slowdown by easing macroeconomic policies. The fiscal policy stance has been shifted from neutral to mildly expansionary.