and demand weakened, bolstering the case for the central bank to ease monetary policy further. Consumer prices rose only 0.1 percent from September, the slowest since January, according to government data released on Wednesday. Food prices declined by 0.4 percent, the first drop in seven months. Inflation is easing amid sluggish economic growth and a high jobless rate. Retail sales also slowed in October from the previous month as shoppers pulled back on big-ticket items, suggesting that economic growth will remain weak for the remainder of the year. This, in turn, is likely to prompt the central bank to continue to implement stimulus measures to boost growth.