French Unemployment Rate Drops for First Time in More Than Year

France’s unemployment rate dropped for the first time in more than a year as the economy began to revive with the help of low oil prices and monetary stimulus.

The unemployment rate fell to 10.3 percent in the first quarter from 10.4 percent in the previous three months, national statistics office Insee said today in an e-mailed statement. Excluding France’s overseas territories, the rate fell to 10 percent from 10.1 percent.

The drop is among the indications that France is experiencing its first sustained recovery since President Francois Hollande came to power three years ago. The International Monetary Fund predicts the euro region’s second-largest economy will expand more than 1 percent in 2015, more than twice the pace of the previous three years.

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