(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc. shares fell to a 12-year low Tuesday after Jeff McElfresh, the company’s chief executive officer of communications, told investors at a conference that he expects customer growth to slow.

The surge in new customers this year, fueled in part by free phone offers and slightly higher consumer spending, will probably cool off next year, McElfresh said at the event hosted by Wells Fargo & Co. 

“There’s no doubt that the stimulus programs have put some extra cash into household budgets,” McElfresh said. “And so we’re not expecting that level of activity to continue into 2022 and beyond.” 

The executive, who leads the company’s wireless phone unit, added that AT&T would take “more than our fair share” of growth in the business over the next two to three years.

AT&T shares were trading down 5.3% to $22.63 at 1:01 p.m. in New York. The comments also sent mobile peers Verizon Communications Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. down about 2% and 4%, respectively.

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