AT&T Warns That Customers Are Slower to Pay Monthly Bills

AT&T Inc. T -1.82%▼ said more of its customers are starting to fall behind on their bills, a sign that rising costs are pinching many households even for services most Americans consider essential.

The wireless giant logged another customer surge in its latest quarter after smartphone promotions helped it lure new clients and keep existing ones. But subscribers were paying their monthly phone and internet bills on average two days slower than a year earlier, executives said.

“We do see in times of economic stress customers managing their payments more tightly,” Pascal Desroches, AT&T’s finance chief, said in an interview.

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Rising interest rates and higher prices on everything from gas to groceries this year has pressured consumer sentiment even as consumer spending has largely held up. Some CEOs, including leaders at PepsiCo Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc., UAL 1.14%▲ have warned in recent weeks that they expect a spending slowdown this year and see a higher chance of an economic recession.


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