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GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT. The worst may be over.

GNP sank swiftly - 5.2 percent - in the last quarter of '81. It's expected to fall another 1 percent or so in the January-March quarter. After that, look for a turnaround.

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The economy's comeback is expected to be slow at first. But by the latter half of 1982, it should be growing at a 5 percent annual rate.

Even so, that would be only a ''moderate'' comeback. Most expansions after a sharp recession are far faster -- at least 8 percent or more.

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