And the two stories leading off today's show have one thing in common, coronavirus. In New Zealand, concerns about the spread of the disease have led to the postponement of a parliamentary election. It was originally scheduled for September 19, now it's set for October 17. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement after the number of COVID-19 patients jumped last week. The country had gone more than 100 days without the disease spreading through its communities. But this month an outbreak of dozens of cases took place in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city.
So a strict lockdown was put in place there on August 12 and the election was delayed. It's not the first time New Zealand has seen a lockdown like this. It went under one of the strictest in the world starting on March 25 and that lasted five weeks. But life had been getting back to normal before the most recent outbreak.
Moving from the South Pacific to the North Pacific, Japan just reported the economic hit it took because of coronavirus. The Asian country has the world's third largest economy behind the United States and China and Japan says its gross domestic product dropped by 7.8 percent from the first quarter of this year to the second one.
That's not the worst in the world. America's drop in GDP between April and June was 9.5 percent. Germany's was more than 10 percent. Britain's was more than 20 percent. Reasons for the decrease in Japan's GDP included falling exports and less consumer spending because of coronavirus-related restrictions. But economic activity did pick up again in June and July.