CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jim Svinth, chief economist at LendingTree, expects the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates stable when they meet on Tuesday.

If so, the pause in interest rate hikes would stretch to four consecutive Fed meetings.

“With the cross-currents of core inflation on the one hand and the housing and auto sectors in a downdraft on the other, the Fed will likely want to collect more data points before making a move in either direction,” Svinth said Monday.

Interest rates have stayed the same since June but had been raised 17 consecutive times dating back to June of 2004.

“Tomorrow’s meeting will be more of the same,” Svinth states, “The real question is when will the decrease in Fed Funds take place?”

LendingTree: www.lendingtree.com