AT&T Inc expects sales to business customers to stay flat for a while, although growth may return in the second half of 2010, Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said on Thursday.

A weaker economy has hurt AT&T's sales of telecommunications services to business clients as companies go bankrupt or trim their operations.

Our view right now is we're probably going to run at a flattish level for some time, Stephenson said at a Goldman Sachs conference.

I don't see it deteriorating further, he said. In second half of 2010 we see the opportunity for some growth. (Reporting by Sinead Carew and Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)