WASHINGTON (AP) — For months, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell responded to surging inflation by counseling patience and stressing that the Fed wanted to see unemployment return to near-pre-pandemic levels before it would raise interest rates. But on Wednesday, Powell suggested that his patience has run out. High inflation has not only persisted but accelerated to a nearly four-decade high. Average wages are rising. Hiring is solid, and unemployment is falling. All those trends, Powell said at a news conference, have led him and the rest of the Fed’s policymakers to decide that now is the time to speed up the Fed’s tightening of credit.