The third quarter was a big one for dividends around the world, according to figures compiled by Henderson Global Research. There was nearly $300 billion paid out in the quarter, up 2.3 percent from the same period a year earlier.
The rise among North American stocks was even stronger than that. There was $116.5 billion paid out in dividends by North American companies, an increase of 20 percent from the year earlier. That includes $10 billion paid out by Kraft and Heinz as part of their merger.
But the most dramatic increase was in Japan, where the yearly increase was a whopping 70 percent. Meanwhile, Henderson warns that in China, dividends might decline in 2015 for the first time ever.