The surprising strength of the nation's economy prompts many economists to expect higher interest rates a year from now, according to the latest American Banker Yield and Rate Survey.

Short-term rates may be a quarter to a half percentage point higher by the third quarter of 1997, but some longer-term rates may actually be lower because inflation will be modest, in the consensus view of the 10 forecasters surveyed at major regional banks and Wall Street securities firms.

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