U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in April as worries about the impact of higher oil prices on economic growth eased slightly, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary April reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 69.6, up from 67.5 in March.

It was also above the the median forecast of 68.5 among economists polled by Reuters.

The sentiment reading is still below February's level, with March sentiment the lowest in more than a year.

While consumers remained concerned about higher fuel and food prices, they saw the sharp run higher in gasoline as near an end. Unrest in the Middle East and Libya has fueled the recent surge in oil prices.

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions was at 82.7 in early April, versus 82.5 in March.

The survey's gauge of consumer expectations also rose, to 61.2 from 57.9 in March.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation was unchanged at 4.6 percent, while the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook was slightly lower at 2.9 percent in April compared with 3.2 percent in March.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)