Portugal third-quarter unemployment falls to 15.6 percent


LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's jobless rate fell for the second consecutive quarter in the three months that ended in September, to 15.6 percent from 16.4 percent in the second quarter, data showed on Thursday.

The unemployment rate was also lower than 15.8 percent recorded in the same period a year ago, the National Statistics Institute said, providing further evidence that the economy is returning to growth.

Unemployment had continually risen in the past two years, to a record high in the first quarter, as the country grappled with its worst recession since the 1970s under the weight of austerity imposed by a bailout. But the economy returned to growth in the second quarter.

(Reporting By Axel Bugge)

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