Thai anti-government protesters hold giant national flag and march during a rally in Bangkok, Thailand Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Thailand's ruling party has questioned the reasoning behind a court decision allowing next month's general election to be postponed, but held open the possibility that it might agree to put off the polls if its political rivals agree to recognize the legitimacy of a new vote. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

HONG KONG (AP) — The World Bank has slashed its economic growth forecast for Thailand because of ongoing political strife that is crimping domestic demand.

In a report Monday, the Washington-based organization forecast that Thailand’s economy would expand 3 percent this year, down from 4.5 percent growth it had forecast at the end of last year.

The bank also cut trimmed its 2015 growth forecast for the country to 4.5 percent, down from 5 percent.

Thailand has been gripped by more than five months of anti-government protests that the World Bank said is also affecting tourism receipts, public investment and investor confidence.

The bank’s twice yearly report on developing East Asia and the Pacific predicts the region’s economies will grow 7.1 percent in 2014.

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