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Where, oh where, are US interest rates going? The recent run-up in the prime rate to 13.5 percent sent the stock market into a tailspin, and frustrated home buyers looking for cheaper mortgages. Yet some experts say the rise is temporary; lower rates should be seen within a few months.

Others are more cautious. The Federal Reserve Board, the nation's money manager, is caught in a squeeze between inflation and election pressures, one economist notes.

One prediction, at least, gets wide acceptance: it is unlikely there will be another credit squeeze like last spring when mortgages were just about impossible to get.m

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