Southeastern banks have been booking more loans than their brethren in other regions, and the trend is expected to continue at least to yearend. Surprisingly, some of the strongest gains have been in Alabama, a state not normally known for go-go growth.

"We noticed a strengthening of the Alabama economy in the spring of 1992," said Robert P. Houston, executive vice president and controller of First Alabama Bancshares Inc. "And there's been modest growth since that time."

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