Berkshire Rail, Insurance Units Earnings Slip on Weak Demand

Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reported weaker results in several of its major businesses, underscoring fears the US economy has a bumpy road ahead. But that doesn’t dampen the billionaire investor’s optimism about America.

The conglomerate saw operating profit fall 14% to $6.7 billion in the fourth quarter, as higher prices for materials and labor hit the company’s railroad and insurance operations. Still, Buffett cautioned investors to keep faith in the American economy, as he said of Berkshire’s record $30.8 billion in operating income for the year.

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