Southern Co.: Georgia economy “doesn’t have its legs under it.”

Georgia is seeing steady but slow economic growth, and it’s clear the recovery “really doesn’t have its legs under it,” said a senior executive for Georgia Power’s parent company.

Southern Company, which released its latest financial results Wednesday morning, has a unique view of the economy because it sees energy usage and new connections for homes and industries across much of the state and Southeast.

Though the recession officially ended years ago, only about half as many customers are being added to the utility’s system compared to pre-recession rates, Southern’s chief financial officer Art Beattie told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

And residential use of electricity hasn’t grown much, which Beattie said he attributes to stagnant household income.

Southern chief executive Tom Fanning said six of the company’s top 10 industrial customer segments have returned to pre-recession levels and one more is nearly there. He said the three top industrial segments lagging the most are all tied to housing – lumber, textiles and stone/clay/glass.

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