Consumers paid slightly more at the grocery checkout line during the third quarter of 1998, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's Marketbasket Survey.

The 16 selected items on the survey cost $32.40, up 22 cents from the second quarter's $32.18 average. That marks the second consecutive increase in the average price and is consistent with a past trend of third-quarter price jumps."The overall price increase is pretty much in line with the rate of inflation, which is around 2.5 to 3 percent," said Terry Francl, a senior economist with the AFBF.

The largest increase in the survey was for a one-pound package of bacon, up 17 cents to $2.30. A 32-ounce jar of mayonnaise rose 15 cents to $2.64, and eggs were up 4 cents at 96 cents per dozen.

Overall, eight of the 16 items in the survey increased in price, six decreased and two were unchanged.

The bureau's survey is based on figures compiled by volunteer shoppers in 35 states in early September.