U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in April to the highest levels since September before investors panicked about the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the global banking system's near implosion, a survey showed on Friday.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary April reading of consumer sentiment rose to a level of 61.9, up from 57.3 in March and was the highest since 70.3 recorded in September.

The index of current economic conditions rose to 66.6 in April from 63.3 in March and was the highest reading since December.

The index of consumer expectations rose to 58.9 in April from 53.5 in March and was the highest since September.

While consumers believe the economy may have hit bottom, most consumers believe that when the rebound starts the economy will gain ground very slowly, said survey director Richard Curtin in a press release.

Consumers' financial situations remain dismal as the majority reported that their finances continued to worsen, Curtin said.

(Reporting by John Parry; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)