Portugal's jobless rate fell for the sixth consecutive quarter in the three months that ended in September, to 13.1% from 13.9% in the previous quarter, in another sign of an improving economy.

The unemployment rate was also much lower than 15.5% recorded the same time last year, the National Statistics Institute said. 

The institute said that the number of unemployed fell to 688,900 people in the third quarter from 728,900 in the previous quarter. 

The share of unemployed young people fell to 32.2% in the third quarter from 35.6% in the previous quarter. 

Unemployment had risen during the country's debt crisis, to a record high in the first quarter of 2013 as Portugal grappled with its worst recession since the 1970s under the weight of austerity imposed by a bailout. 

But it has fallen since then as the economy started to recover in the second quarter of last year. GDP is expected to grow by 1% this year.