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Global dividends inched ahead just 0.1% in 2016, according to the Henderson Global Dividend Index, reaching $1.154 trillion. There were four reasons for the lack of progress. First, dividend growth in the US, which accounts for two fifths of the global total payout, slowed sharply. Secondly, the UK, Australia, and emerging markets saw declines year-on-year. Thirdly, the US dollar was stronger, so dividends paid around the world were translated into dollars at less favourable exchange rates. And finally, special dividends were lower year-on-year. On an underlying basis, which adjusts for changes in exchange rates, special dividends and other factors, growth of 0.6% year-on-year was also very modest. Following a weak fourth quarter, when dividends fell 0.4% year-on-year, the HGDI ended 2016 at 158.2, with little change to global dividend growth at the headline level in recent years.
Date added: 13-02-2017