LendingTree Fed Rate Forecast: Chief Economist Predicts a Pause at March 20 – 21 Meeting

Released  March 16, 2007
By Megan Greuling

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 16, 2007– The next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 20 and Wednesday, March 21. LendingTree Chief Economist Jim Svinth forecasts the sixth straight pause in interest rate hikes.

“Despite turbulence in the financial markets related to subprime lending, as well as a flat housing market, the economic numbers point to a continued pause by the FOMC,” said Mr. Svinth.

The Federal Reserve paused at the last five meetings – August 8, September 20, October 24 – 25, December 12 and January 30 – 31 – leaving its federal funds rate at 5.25%.

“With a tight labor market, continued consumer spending and inflation numbers that are still out of the Fed’s comfort zone, I believe all signs point to another meeting with no action. By mid-year, my hunch is we’ll be closer to the Fed really showing its cards,” said Mr. 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, credit cards and high-yield savings accounts via www.lendingtree.com and 800-555-TREE.

Launched in 1998 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, LendingTree, LLC is part of IAC Financial Services and Real Estate, an operating company of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), which also owns or operates LendingTree Loans sm, LendingTree Settlement Services, LLC, GetSmart®, RealEstate.comsm, Domania®, and iNest Realty, Inc.