Inflation running at its highest levels since the early 1980s likely cooled a little in July but is still increasing at a sweltering pace. Markets on Wednesday will get a look at a key data point that will show just where price pressures stood heading into August — the July consumer price index report, which looks at a broad basket of goods and services to measure the cost of living. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect that headline inflation increased 0.2% from June and 8.7% from a year ago. If that estimate holds true, it will take the CPI off its highest level since November 1981, but still near levels well above anything the U.S. has seen in decades. Taking out food and energy, so-called core CPI is expected to post a monthly gain of 0.5% and an annual rate of 6.1%. The acceleration of core would be bad news in that it shows inflation is broadening, while the slightly slower pace in headline will mainly reflect a sharp slide in gas prices. To get a better handle on where things stand, CNBC.com took a look at a dozen indicators to show where the situation stands heading into Wednesday’s CPI release: ISM manufacturing and services price indexes : The ISM gauges provide the most up-to-date figures as they are for July. In manufacturing, the prices index was 60%, while services posted a 72.3%. Both measures reflect the percentage of companies that say prices are rising. In June, the respective indexes came in at 78.5% and 80.1%, meaning that while a solid majority of companies are still paying higher prices, the level is slowing. Atlanta Federal Reserve Sticky CPI : The measure looks at the cost of goods that tend not to fluctuate very much in price. For June, the sticky CPI’s one-month annualized rate was running at 8.1%, a record high in a data set that goes back 10 years. Conversely, flexible price CPI was at 41.5%, off its March high. Dallas Fed mean trimmed inflation rate : The central bank branch takes CPI data and throws out extreme readings at both ends of the spectrum. That reading for the 12-month personal consumption expenditures inflation rate was 4.3% in June, the highest since April 1983. (The Fed prefers using PCE prices to the CPI.) Personal consumption expenditures price indexes : The Fed’s preferred inflation number came in hot for June , registering 6.8% for headline and 4.8% for core PCE. Unit labor costs : The measure looks at hourly compensation vs. productivity and was at 10.8% for the second quarter from the previous period. The 9.5% four-quarter reading was the highest since Q1 of 1982. Gas prices : After surging to nominal record highs above $5 a gallon, prices at the pump have cooled over the past month. As of Tuesday, a gallon of regular cost $4.03 , down 66 cents over the past month, or 14%, according to AAA. However, they remain well above the year-ago level of $3.19. Atlanta Fed Wage Growth Tracker : Through June, the three-month moving average for wages showed a gain of 6.7% from a year ago, a record for a data series that goes back to March 1997. Job switchers were doing particularly well, with a 7.9% increase. Average hourly earnings : The BLS reported last Friday that while payroll growth is brisk, so are wages, with average hourly earnings up 5.2% from a year ago. BLS employment cost index : The measure, watched closely by the Fed because it smooths the data for compositional effects, rose 5.1% in the second quarter , a record gain for data going back to 2002. BLS real average hourly earnings : Alas, the big wage gains have not been enough to keep up with the cost of living. Inflation-adjusted hourly earnings fell 1% in June and were down 3.6% over the past year. New York Fed Survey of Consumer Expectations : The closely watched gauge of consumer sentiment showed a substantial decline in the inflation outlook. Respondents from the July survey saw inflation rising 6.2% a year from now and 3.2% in three years, down from June’s respective readings of 6.8% and 3.6%. While they moved in the right direction, those numbers are still way above the Fed’s long-run target of 2%.