Senior bank economists predicted Wednesday that the Federal Reserve Board's open market committee would keep rates steady when it meets Sept. 30, even though the risk of inflation has increased.

"Without clear evidence of inflationary problems in the economy, the Fed may be reluctant to make a preemptive strike at this time," said Joel L. Naroff, chief bank economist at First Union Corp. and chairman of the American Bankers Association's Economic Advisory Committee.

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