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Global dividends hit new record in Q2 but cooling economy means no upgrade to forecast for 2023

30 August 2023

  • Global dividends rose to a record $568.1bn in Q2, up 4.9% on a headline basis; Underlying growth accelerated to 6.3% year-on-year
  • Europe ex-UK saw record dividends; 10.0% underlying growth exceeded other regions
  • Switzerland, France, Germany and Singapore all saw record payouts
  • Japanese growth was strong, but US saw ongoing deceleration
  • Banks contributed half the world’s dividend growth in Q2, with vehicle manufacturers contributing one seventh
  • Globally, 88% of companies either increased dividends or held them steady in Q2
  • 2023 global forecast unchanged owing to continuing economic uncertainty – $1.64 trillion, up 5.0% on an underlying basis

Global dividends rose to a new record in the second quarter, according to the latest edition of the Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index. Payouts rose to $568.1bn, up 4.9% on a headline basis. Underlying growth of 6.3%[1] marked an acceleration compared to the first quarter and reflected Europe’s Q2 seasonal dominance – the period when most European companies make a single annual payment.

Europe ex-UK saw record dividends – 10.0% underlying growth exceeded other regions

European payouts rose by a tenth year-on-year (+9.7% headline, +10.0% underlying), the fastest of any region, taking the total to a record $184.5bn and reflecting strong profitability in the 2022 financial year. Significantly higher banking dividends were the most important driver of European growth, followed by vehicle manufacturers. Switzerland, France and Germany all saw record payouts.

Japanese growth was strong, but US saw ongoing deceleration

Q2 is also seasonally important in Japan and dividends here rose 8.4% on an underlying basis, well ahead of the global average. Half the Japanese companies in our index delivered double-digit increases. The rate of growth in the US slowed for the sixth consecutive quarter however, decelerating to 4.6%, while in Asia-Pacific ex Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea were relative weak spots. Emerging market dividends fell.

Banks contributed half the world’s dividend growth in Q2

From a sector perspective bank dividends were strong all over the world with few exceptions. They accounted for half the global growth in Q2 as rising interest rates boosted margins and pandemic-related disruption to dividend payments finally worked its way out of the numbers. For example, in the UK total payouts were resilient in the face of lower mining dividends as HSBC returned to quarterly payments at a much higher level than seemed possible even a few months ago, while in Singapore, banks propelled the total paid to record levels.

Vehicle dividends also grew strongly, but mining payouts fell

Vehicle manufacturers accounted for one seventh of the year-on-year increase in Q2 payouts. Half of this came from German companies, but the sector was strong all over the world. Miners made the biggest negative contribution, owing to lower commodity prices, while oil payouts fell owing to cuts from Latin American producers.

Globally, 88% of companies either increased dividends or held them steady in Q2.

2023 forecast unchanged owing to growing economic uncertainty

The second quarter was very positive, but with expectations for global economic growth slowing, Janus Henderson has made no change to its forecast for the full year. The global fund manager still expects payouts to rise 5.2% on a headline basis to a record $1.64 trillion, equivalent to underlying growth of 5.0%.

Ben Lofthouse, Head of Global Equity income at Janus Henderson said: “Economic growth around the world is moderating as it responds to higher interest rates. Markets now expect global profits to be flat this year, after soaring to record highs in 2022, and when we speak to companies around the world, they are now more cautious about the outlook. While employment levels have remained very strong, parts of Europe have experienced technical recessions and policymakers everywhere are still intent on combatting inflation, even if it comes at the cost of output.”

“We do expect dividend growth to continue, however. Most regions and sectors are delivering dividends in line with our expectations. The banking sector in particular will continue to deliver solid growth for the rest of the year, making record payments to shareholders. A weaker economic environment is typically negative for banks, but the positive effect on bank margins from the end of years of ultra-low interest rates is very powerful and is driving dividend paypouts. The big banks are very tightly regulated and so enter the downturn in a strong capital position.”

“One of the reassuring features of dividend income is that it is typically much less volatile than earnings. Payouts lagged behind profit growth last year and so can therefore exceed it this year.


[1]  Underlying figures adjust for lower special dividends, exchange rates and minor technical factors

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Notes to editors

Our headline growth rate describes the change in the total dollar amount paid by companies compared to the corresponding quarter each year. Our underlying figure adjusts for the distortion that can be caused by one-off special dividends, changing exchange rates, the effect of companies entering and leaving the global top 1,200 that comprise our index and the impact of changes in payment dates. The latter two tend to be negligible over the course of a whole year at the global level, though they can have a greater impact in any one quarter, geography or sector.

About Janus Henderson

Janus Henderson Group is a leading global active asset manager dedicated to helping clients define and achieve superior financial outcomes through differentiated insights, disciplined investments, and world-class service.
As of 30 June 2023, Janus Henderson had approximately US$322 billion in assets under management, more than 2,000 employees, and offices in 24 cities worldwide. Headquartered in London, the company is listed on the NYSE and the ASX.

Source: Janus Henderson Group plc

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