NAIROBI- Kenya's economy will grow by 6% this year from an estimated 7.6% in 2021, the Finance Minister Ukur Yatani said in his budget speech on Thursday.

Growth in the East African nation is bouncing back after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic sent it to its first contraction in nearly three decades in 2020.

Yatani is presenting President Uhuru Kenyatta's last budget, ahead of an election scheduled for Aug. 9, in which the president must stand down after serving the constitutionally allowed two five-year terms.

The government faces a tough balancing act in order to stick to its fiscal consolidation path, amid rising demands for extra expenditure to subsidize the prices of fuel, fertilizer and other basic commodities.

"I'm confident we are presenting a budget that is reflective of the current realities," Yatani told reporters in his office before going to parliament to read the speech.

(Reporting by George Obulutsa and Duncan Miriri Editing by James Macharia Chege)