Total dividends paid to shareholders globally in the second quarter set a record of $513.8 billion, but the rate of increase was the slowest in more than two years as the world economy decelerated, Janus Henderson Investors reported Monday.
The firm’s Global Dividend Index rose to a record 191.0.
Janus Henderson said second quarter figures for the 1,200 largest companies by market cap as of year-end were in line with its expectations.
As a result, the global asset manager did not change its full 2019 forecast for $1.4 trillion in dividends, which is equivalent to a 4.2% growth level on a headline basis, and 5.5% in underlying terms.
Second quarter U.S. dividends slowed to 3.9% on a headline basis (though they were up 5.3% on an underlying basis), their slowest pace in two years, to $121.7 billion. The dividend growth slowdown occurred across a range of sectors, with most seeing single-digit increases.
Even so, some four in five companies raised their payouts, keeping the U.S. near the top of the international rankings.
The banking sector continued to show strong dividend growth, but auto manufacturers all held their payouts flat, reflecting growing global structural challenges for the sector.