WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke Monday night echoed recent warnings by other Fed officials that the central bank will not wait for a sizable drop in the jobless rate or for out-of-control inflation before acting to raise interest rates.

In a question-and-answer session at the Woodrow Wilson International Scholars dinner, Bernanke repeated what he and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee have already made clear: that they will focus mainly on the state of the real economy — and unemployment — as well as “where inflation is and where it is going.”

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