The chief economist of The Dreyfus Corporation said Wednesday that world growth will slow down again in 2012, based on International Monetary Fund calculation methods.
Growth will slow from 5 percent two years ago and 3.7 percent last year to 3 percent in 2012, said Richard Hoey at a Dreyfus investment outlook event in New York. This will constitute a “global growth recession,’’ he said.
Dragging down the world economy will be Europe, which the IMF projects will be in recession again this year. That recession in an area that constitutes one-fourth of world population will be the main driver of the drop of seven-tenths of a percent of growth in the global economy, he said.
The United States’ economy will growth slightly better than last year’s 1.8 percent growth. He projects growth of 2.5 percent. The IMF, on its own, projects that the United States economy will again grow by 1.8 percent (see chart).
For asset managers, getting returns for clients will mean moving back to smart stock selection, said Jonathan R. Baum, chairman and CEO of Dreyfus, which manages $1.3 trillion in assets and services $27 trillion.
But it will not be a “binary switch,’’ said Baum. Investors won’t just move overnight out of bonds and bond funds, into which they’ve poured $1 trillion of funds that used to be in stocks, mostly domestic. That will take years.
The kinds of stocks that should attract the most attention, said Tineke Frikkee, lead manager of the U.K. equity income strategy at Dreyfus’ Newton Investment Management operation in London, will be dividend-paying stocks.
“Dividend yield will be the key driver of total return in the current environment,’’ she said of slow growth and bouts of volatility in prices of stocks and other securities.
Stocks that do not pay dividends are inherently more volatile, she notes. A study of stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 since 1975 shows, for instance, that non-dividend paying stocks are 60 percent more volatile in their price swings than dividend-paying stocks.
In addition, in the last 40 years, dividend growth and dividend yield have accounted for 77 percent of the total return of stocks, Frikkee said.