In further evidence of a slowing economy, sales of existing homes fell in October for the second consecutive month even though mortgage rates eased, a real estate trade group reported Friday.

The National Association of Realtors said that existing single-family home sales dipped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.63 million units last month, down 1.1 percent from the September sales rate.It marked the third month out of the last four in which sales declined. They dropped an identical 1.1 percent in September and a striking 4.5 percent in July.

The downturn in October occurred even though mortgage rates were falling, edging below 10 percent in some parts of the country for fixed-rate loans.