Nick Akins, chairman, president and chief executive officer of American Electric Power Co.

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Nick Akins, chairman, president and chief executive officer of American Electric Power Co.

Nick Akins, the chairman and CEO of the largest power transmission network in the United States, is keeping a close eye on the country’s economic patterns, he told Cramer in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

“Oil and gas is still doing fine, industrials grew by 2.4 percent, but we saw residential and commercial growth come down a little bit,” the American Electric Power chief said. “We think it’s really driven by strong dollar; certainly some of the tariffs are having an impact on non-oil-and-gas-related activities — chemicals and so forth — and we’re seeing some level of tempering, so we’re watching that very closely as we go forward.”

Residential and commercial growth are important indicators for the stability of the economy and for AEP, an electric utility giant at the center of large-scale power generation.

“It sort of erodes confidence when you see that kind of activity start to temper in that regard, particularly commercial load, which is your mom-and-pop stores and commercial big box stores,” Akins told Cramer. “You want to make sure that that continues to progress, because residential will follow.”

Click here for his full interview.

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