World Bank raises Asia growth forecast, warns of NKorea risk

The World Bank has raised its growth forecast for the developing economies of East Asia and the Pacific but is warning that risks included rising protectionism and escalating tensions over North Korea.

In a report Wednesday, the bank forecast economic growth of 6.4 percent for the region this year.

Growth is expected to ease to 6.2 percent in 2018, mainly reflecting a gradual slowdown in China, Asia's biggest economy.

In its previous forecast in April, the Washington, D.C.-based lender projected a 6.2 percent expansion in 2017 and 6.1 percent for 2018.

While the outlook is broadly positive, the bank said economic nationalism could chill world trade.

Another big risk is tension over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests that could escalate into armed conflict.