WASHINGTON (AP) — Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve is prepared to take further steps if the U.S. economy weakens, but he didn’t signal any action is imminent.

Bernanke says the European debt crisis poses significant risks to the U.S. financial markets. And he noted that U.S. unemployment remains high and the outlook for inflation subdued.

Bernanke’s comments in testimony to a congressional panel came one day after three Fed officials suggested that the central bank may need to do more to help the economy.

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