LendingTree Fed Rate Forecast: Chief Economist Predicts a Pause at September 20 Meeting

Released  September 14, 2006
By Megan Greuling

CHARLOTTE, N.C., September 14, 2006 – The next Federal Reserve meeting is set for Wednesday, September 20. LendingTree Chief Economist Jim Svinth forecasts another pause in rate hikes.

“While core inflation is at a higher level than the Fed’s comfort zone, and labor costs continue to rise, the bigger numbers such as housing and GDP indicate a moderating economy,” says Svinth. “But the question remains: does this economic combination translate into moderating inflation? Only time will tell.”

The Federal Reserve paused at the August 8 meeting after 17 straight interest rate hikes, leaving its federal funds rate at 5.25%. Changes in the federal funds rate triggers a chain of events that affect short-term interest rates, long-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables including employment, output, and prices of goods and services.

“The Fed has room to wait, and with elections in the offing, it will likely leave the target rate at 5.25% on September 20, and perhaps for the remainder of 2006,” added Svinth.

Note to Editors: Jim Svinth is available for print, radio and broadcast interviews – live or taped.

About LendingTree, LLC

LendingTree, LLC is the nation’s number one online lending exchange, providing a marketplace that connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 20 million loan requests and $152 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, and credit cards via www.lendingtree.com and 800-555-TREE.

Founded in 1998 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, LendingTree, LLC is part of IAC Financial Services and Real Estate, an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI), which also owns or operates LendingTree Loans, LendingTree Settlement Services, LLC, GetSmart®, RealEstate.com®, Domania®, and iNest®.