Global dividends slow amidst world economy deceleration

Global dividends reached a new high in the second quarter despite a slower rate of growth caused by a stronger dollar and a decelerating world economy.

Total dividends on equities reached $513.8 billion (€479.2 billion) over the period, up just 1.1% in headline terms from last year, as the deceleration in the world economy begun to make an impact on dividends.

The rate of increase in pay-outs was the slowest for more than two years, according to the latest dividend data from Janus Henderson, with underlying growth of 4.6%.

According to the firm, there is no need to worry about this slowdown in dividend growth.

“Dividends have been growing very quickly over the last two years, however, so the slowdown we are now seeing is not a cause for concern,” said Ben Lofthouse, head of global equity income at Janus.

“The underlying growth rate we expect this year is simply in line with the long-run average, rather than well ahead of it.”

According to the dividend index, the impact of the global economic slowdown is greater in some parts of the world than others. Europe is seeing a particularly notable impact, Lofthouse said.

Japan, Canada, France, and Indonesia were the only countries to set record pay-outs in the second quarter.

Emerging markets saw the fastest growth, driven higher by Russia and Colombia, while Japan registered the best performance among the developed regions.

The rest of Asia Pacific, and Europe ex UK underperformed the global average, according to the asset manager.

Dividends from financials and energy stocks saw the fastest increases, but technology and consumer basics lagged, it said.

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