(Bloomberg) -- US consumer sentiment declined in early April by more than forecast and inflation expectations increased, underscoring Americans’ frustration with high prices.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary April consumer sentiment index dropped to 77.9 from last month’s 79.4 that was the highest since mid-2021, according to figures released Friday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for the gauge to ease to 79.

Consumers expect prices will climb at an annual rate of 3.1% over the next year, up from the 2.9% expected a month earlier and the highest this year. They see costs rising 3% over the next five to 10 years, a five-month high.

“These increases in inflation expectations are modest enough that consumers do not appear worried that high inflation will come roaring back,” Joanne Hsu, director of the survey, said in a statement. However, “while consumers are fully aware that inflation has come down substantially since 2022, they are not satisfied by the current pace of disinflation.”

Click here to watch Michigan survey director Hsu discuss the latest results with Bloomberg’s Michael McKee

The decrease in sentiment coincides with rising gasoline prices that now stand at a six-month high and follow data this week that showed inflation is proving difficult to tame. Elevated prices and high borrowing costs are keeping sentiment well below pre-pandemic levels.

Until inflation moves closer to the Federal Reserve’s goal, policymakers will hold off lowering interest rates. Fed Bank of Boston President Susan Collins, in an interview with Bloomberg, said she doesn’t see any need to quickly reduce borrowing costs.

Read more: Fed’s Collins Penciled in Two Cuts This Year, No Urgency to Cut

The share of consumers blaming high prices for eroding their living standards rose to 39% this month from 33% in March, the Michigan figures showed.

Consumers’ perception of their current financial situation slipped to a four-month low, while their views of buying conditions for durable goods eased. A slightly higher share mentioned that high prices were to blame for poor buying conditions for vehicles and durable goods.

The current conditions gauge slid to 79.3, the lowest this year, from 82.5. A measure of expectations eased.

--With assistance from Kristy Scheuble.

(Adds Fed’s Collins)

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