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A new study1 analysing global dividend trends has highlighted that, in the third quarter of last year, 89% of companies chose to maintain their dividend levels or raise them. Despite this, it was noted that during the quarter, global dividends reduced by 0.9% (on a headline basis) to total $421.9bn. 

The underlying growth of dividends, paid by the world’s 1,200 largest firms measured by market capitalisation, was recorded at 0.3% in Q3 2023; this follows adjustments for the strengthening US dollar and for special dividends. Interestingly, the overall growth rate was ‘significantly impacted’ by a diminutive number of large dividend cuts; the report noted that this ‘masked encouraging growth across the wider market.’ If you exclude the two largest dividend reductions, for example, underlying growth was 5.3%. 

From a year-on-year perspective, the 2023 headline forecast has been reduced from $1.64trn to $1.63trn, also reflective of reduced special dividends and a stronger US dollar, and ‘not a cause for concern,’ according to the report. Head of Global Equity Income at Janus Henderson, Ben Lofthouse, signalled that, “dividend growth from companies generally remains strong across a wide range of sectors and regions,” adding that the data highlights “a globally diversified income portfolio has natural stabilisers,” as sectors in ascendance are “able to counteract those with declining dividends,” before concluding, “Dividends are typically much less volatile than earnings over time, providing comfort in times of economic uncertainty.” 

1Janus Henderson, 2023 

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.