The inflation story remains a patchwork of trends feeding into an intransigent headline reading that has rarely dipped below 9% since early 2010. The overall situation has not deteriorated in recent months, but despite some kernels of hope, nor has it improved in concrete, unambiguous fashion. The RBI’s preferred core series is non-food manufactures. fearful symmetry buttresses that information with subsets of elaborately transformed manufactures (ETMs) and high protein food items, where demand is partially driven by rapid income growth and the changing consumption patterns funded thereby. In July non-food manufactures rose 7.5%yr, versus 7.3%yr in June. The 6mth annualised pace went from 10.8% in June to 8.0%. The ETM subset rose by 2.8%yr and is showing tentative signs that softer durables demand is impacting negatively on pricing power, an observation mirrored in the business surveys. The protein basket had jumped sharply to 8.8%yr a month ago. It fell to 8.0%yr in July but remains on an upward tilt in 6mth annualised terms.