Why Stock Dividends Are Slowing Down Around the World

The latest installment of the quarterly Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index shows that while second-quarter global dividends hit a new record, they grew at a slower rate as a result of a strong dollar. This according to a recent article in Barron’s.

The report shows that global dividends for the second quarter of this year totaled $513.8 billion compared to $508.1 billion one year ago—a growth rate of 1.1% compared to a 14.1% increase last year.

The Janus study analyzed dividends paid by the 1,200 largest global firms by market capitalization as of December 31 before the start of each year—which the company says represent approximately 90% of dividends paid.

In the report, Janus stated “the deceleration in the world economy has begun to make an impact on dividends,” adding that the fastest dividend growth occurred in emerging markets (up 12.6%), with Japan seeing the biggest increase among developed countries (10.1%) due to rising profitability and payout ratios.

In the U.S., dividends grew by 3.9%, the article reports, “the smallest increase in two years.” Still, the Janus report said, “despite a slowdown in growth in the U.S., more than four-fifths of U.S. companies raised payouts, a higher proportion than in many other large countries.” It added that the pace of U.S. dividend growth slowed across various sectors with most seeing single digit increases. One in seven U.S. companies, it reported, held year-over-year payout ratios flat on a per-share basis, “a larger proportion than in recent quarters.”