Topsy turvy times for investors' dividend payouts

Shareholders endured a disappointing 2016 with collective global dividend payments only inching ahead, although the outlook is a little brighter, a report today notes.

Global dividends edged up just 0.1% last year on a headline basis. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Global dividends edged up just 0.1 per cent on a headline basis last year, reaching $1.154 trillion (£930 billion), while underlying growth was 0.6 per cent, according to the latest Henderson Global Dividend Index.

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It cited a number of factors, including a slowdown in the US, sharp falls in Australia, the UK and emerging markets, plus lower special dividends and a stronger dollar.

Alex Crooke, head of global equity income at Henderson Global Investors, said: “For the year ahead, the outlook for global economic growth appears brighter. With a new administration in the White House promising greater spending and tax cuts for business, corporate earnings in the US could benefit, even as they contend with the effects of the strong dollar.”