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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Post Falls’ Ground Force sold

A Chicago company has agreed to purchase Post Falls-based Ground Force Worldwide.

Federal Signal Corporation officials said in a news release on Wednesday that it had agreed to pay $45 million to purchase Ground Force, which makes specialized-heavy equipment used in large mining operations.

Ground Force CEO and owner Ron Nilson could not immediately be reached for comment. But in the news release, Nilson, lauded the deal.

“We are excited to be joining forces with Federal Signal and believe the combination of our two teams represents a natural cultural fit, with both companies exhibiting a shared vision of developing and maintaining strong local community connections,” Nilson said in the release.

According to the Federal Signal news release, the purchase will bolster the company’s position as an industry-leading industrial manufacturer of specialized vehicles.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ground Force’s talented team members to the Federal Signal family,” said Jennifer L. Sherman, president and CEO of Federal Signal in the release.

GM mitigates battery fiasco

General Motors Co. shares jumped Friday after the company said it expects to be reimbursed for battery recall costs from its supplier and sees a “more stable year” for chip supply in 2022.

GM is in talks with battery supplier LG Chem over the costs of its Bolt electric vehicle battery recall, which has resulted in a $1.8 billion charge.

The company expects to get reimbursement from LG, Jacobson said, although it was unclear if that would be full or partial.

The easing of the chip supply crunch, meanwhile, will likely come only after a further deterioration this year that has led to the idling of key truck plants.

GM now expects the shortage to cut wholesale volume by about 200,000 cars in North America during the second half of the year, double the units it had expected earlier, Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said Friday during a conference call held by RBC Capital Markets.

The Detroit-based carmaker said pre-tax margins of 10% in North America will be “quite achievable” in 2022 amid its transition to produce more electric vehicles.

In the second quarter, GM reported a 12% Ebit-adjusted margin, which excludes items like tax and interest. In a conference call at the time, Jacobson said a 10% margin in North America is sustainable.

Wholesale inflation rises 8.3% compared to 2020

WASHINGTON – Inflation at the wholesale level climbed 8.3% last month from August 2020, the biggest annual gain since the Labor Department started calculating the 12-month number in 2010.

The Labor Department reported Friday that its producer price index – which measures inflationary pressures before they reach consumers – rose 0.7% last month from July after increasing 1% in both June and July.

Inflation has been stirring as the economy recovers from last year’s brief but intense coronavirus recession. Supply chain bottlenecks and a shortage of workers have pushed prices higher.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has called the price spikes temporary and has warned of the dangers of the central bank raising its benchmark interest rate (now near zero) prematurely, potentially stalling the economy’s comeback.

“Since the pandemic, supply chains have never been the same and likely won’t normalize for at least six months,” said a report by Contingent Macro Advisors. “”Only then will we (and, more importantly, the Fed) get a true sense of the trend rate of producer inflation.”

From staff and wire reports