The Bank of England’s latest cut in interest rates of half a percentage point has been welcomed by timber traders.

Companies contacted by TTJ say the newly-lowered rate of 4% will encourage young people to buy houses, help customers and reduce the likelihood of a recession.

Hugh Mackay, executive chairman of Stewart Milne Timber Systems, said: ‘I would say it’s good news, especially in housing development. There have been signs of a slight cooling off in housebuilding but it is still reasonably stable.’

He said the cut would help reduce the high costs of operations and land acquisitions.

Richard Fawcett, managing director of Palgrave Brown, said: ‘I would think the cut should be good for our sector. It should be very encouraging for younger people to buy houses. But the cloud on the horizon is the general overall confidence in the economy.’

Alan Goodger, chairman of importer/merchant JF Goodwillie Ltd, said the drop would not affect his business but thought it would be good for the trade generally. ‘It has to be the right move I think.’

Mark O’Brien, head of public affairs at the Timber Trade Federation, said: ‘We are pleased. Any step in that direction is obviously helpful to business and helpful in terms of staving off a recession, which is the last thing our members want.’ He added that it was important the economy was stable and the government kept to its spending plans.

A spokesperson for Nexfor said it was ‘encouraging’ for all parties, including customers while Construction Products Association economics director Allan Wilén said the cut would help reinforce industry and consumer confidence.