The light in the American economy grew murkier in July. Real wages remain stuck in a fetid mire, up only 2.8% from a year ago, while methanous pockets of inflation bubble floated above to 5%. Rubbing up against declining consumer spending, the economy shed 51,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate slinked up to 5.7%, a four-year high. However, that was 24,000 fewer jobs slithering away than economists, licking their lips and blinking their eyes, expected.