The quarter-point rate hike by the US Federal Reserve this morning is not expected to have an affect on New Zealand home mortgage rates, an economist says.

The Fed earlier raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months and signalled that any further hikes this year would be gradual.

Today's move means the Fed's key short-term rate has risen by a quarter-point to a still-low range of 0.75 per cent to 1 per cent.

US 10-year bond yields, which are key to international funding costs, fell by 10 basis points to around 2.50 per cent after the move.


"Although they did hike rates as expected, they struck a very neutral tone and they did not revise up their forecasts for inflation, employment and interest rates as much as they might have done," ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said.

Zollner said that, if anything, rising interest rate markets had "taken a breather" from the announcement, adding most of the movement in markets took place last week in anticipation of a rate hike.

"The script may only have been written a week ago but the Fed stuck to it," she said.

There were no hawkish surprises within the text or the so-called "dot plot" rate projections, which show the bank hiking rates three times in total this year.

Westpac said the statement did not appear to portray a significant "hawkish shift" by the US Federal Reserve.

The bank said in a commentary the risks were still "roughly balanced", the outlook was for "moderate growth", and the rates guidance called for gradualism - "all bedrock comments that the Fed has stuck with for some time now."