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During the Great Depression, Simon Kuznets led an investigative study resulting in the first publication of the nation’s national income. It was called the Gross National Product (GNP). Using GNP to assess the overall production-to-consumption ratio of the U.S., President Roosevelt entered World War II without jeopardizing the basic needs of U.S. citizens. Although GNP was changed into GDP in 1991, it still didn’t account for all aspects of economic growth. These stories show how GNP and GDP measurements, though not perfect, really do help us understand the U.S. economy.

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