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Imperator: Rome - Economy and Trade Rebuilt. An overview of how economy and trade work in Imperator: Rome! Although most of these changes happened in previous free updates, anyone who wants to dive back into Imperator will appreciate the changes.
The main economy interface

In Imperator, a country's economy revolves around the generation of Wealth gold income from pops and trade that are used for various expenses and investments. Used for everything from recruiting armies and maintaining Fortification.png forts to constructing buildings and adopting Invention.png inventions, gold is one of the most important resources in the game. Thus, managing and optimizing a country's economy is a critical part of building a strong, prosperous nation. An overview of the country's economy and balance, as well as the adjustment of economic policies, can be viewed in the the Menu economy.png Economy screen.

Treasury[edit | edit source]

A country's Treasury.png treasury stores all of its currently accumulated wealth and is the main source of accessible gold; most events and actions deposits gold into or withdraws gold from the treasury. At the end of each month, the current balance between the country's income and expenses are automatically added or subtracted from the treasury. Most actions that cost gold, such as constructing buildings and completing mission tasks, have their costs deducted directly from the treasury and require the treasury to have enough gold to pay the cost outright. Thus, for more expensive items, it will often require saving up for months (if not years) to make the purchase or investment.

If the treasury becomes negative, the country will be considered to be in Bankruptcy.png deficit, destabilizing the country and making any employed Mercenary maintenance.png mercenaries disloyal. If the treasure falls below -50, negative events can begin to trigger, typically giving additional maluses. It may therefore be useful to keep a reserve of gold if the country is already unstable, as there are many random events that require spending gold and can somewhat unexpectedly push a country into deficit.

While the ruler is paid a portion of the country's income each month, a country's treasury should be distinguished from the Leader.png ruler's personal finances, even in monarchies; these two stores of wealth have distinct uses and are not generally interchangeable. If the ruler is Corruption.png corrupt, this can become a particularly serious problem as the ruler siphons a large proportion of the country's income into their personal coffers where the state cannot use it - it is entirely possible to have a wealthy ruler but a poor state, and vice versa.

A country's treasury can hold a maximum of 100,000 gold; any excess will be lost.

Income[edit | edit source]

The are three main sources of state income in Imperator:

  • National tax Tax, produced directly by Population.png pops in owned territories
  • Commerce value.png Commerce, generated by the movement of goods between provinces on Global state trade routes.png trade routes
  • Tribute income.png Tribute, paid by many types of Vassalized.png subject states

Generally speaking, the effects of Monthly wage modifier.png governor wages and the stacking effects of buildings means that the Country capital.png capital region, and especially the capital province and territory, will produce a disproportionate portion of the country's income.

Taxes[edit | edit source]

Tax income is paid by all pops of certain classes in the country, each producing a different amount of base monthly tax income:

  • Wealth 0.005 gold, for Freemen freemen
  • Wealth 0.008 gold, for Tribesmen tribesmen
  • Wealth 0.015 gold, for Slaves slaves

As with all pop output, the base tax production of each pop is then multiplied by its Pop happy.png happiness as a fraction out of 100%, which generally means that the tax income of pops is less than the base value. The exception is Slaves slaves, who are fixed at 100% output efficiency regardless of happiness. After this, National tax National tax and Tax income.png Local tax modifiers are applied at the territory, province, region, and country level. As tax income is produced almost exclusively by pops, it is also affected by the various Population output pop output modifiers, with Slave output slave output modifiers being particularly important given that tax income usually comes predominantly from Slaves slaves; Tribesman output tribesman output can also have a significant effect for tribal countries or states that otherwise have a large number of Tribesmen tribesmen.

Some of the more important sources of National tax tax modifiers are listed below:

  • Territory modifiers:
    • +10% per Tax Office tax office
    • +25% with a Foundry foundry
    • +10% for Holy Site.png holy sites
    • -50% for Blockade blockaded territories
  • Province modifiers:
    • +3% per governor Civic power.png finesse plus a base of +3% with the Policy bleed them dry.png Bleed Them Dry governor policy
    • +1% per governor Civic power.png finesse plus a base of +1% with the Policy acquisition of wealth.png Acquisition of Wealth governor policy
    • +2% for each Iron iron trade good in the province
  • Region modifiers:
    • -50% for regions without a Office.png governor
    • -25% for regions with a Position governor (as Monthly wage modifier.png wage)
    • -10% if the Position governor has the Miserly miserly trait
  • Country modifiers:
    • -50% with the Treasury.png Lax Taxes economic policy
    • +1% per Statesmanship statesmanship-adjusted Civic power.png finesse of the Office.png Steward (Monarchy office)
    • +1.5% per Statesmanship statesmanship-adjusted Military power.png martial of the Office.png Tribune of the Treasury (Republic office)
    • +2% per Statesmanship statesmanship-adjusted Civic power.png finesse of the Office.png Magistrate (Tribal office)
    • +2.5% with the Invention.png Property Tax, Invention.png Eisphora , Invention.png Liturgies, Invention.png Use of State Land, and Invention.png Crucifixion Civic power.png Civic Inventions
    • +10% with the Invention.png Regulated Money Lenders Civic power.png Civic Invention
    • +5% with the Invention.png Hindu Number System Oratory power.png Indian Oratory Invention
    • +5%/+7.5%/+10%/+15% for the Gw effect tax and commerce.png Tax and Commerce effect for Gw map icon.png great wonders, depending on the tier
    • +5% with the Enact law cost modifier.png Status Quo/Lex Aternia Tarpeia Republic law
    • -15% with the Enact law cost modifier.png Infrastructure Policy Monarchy law
    • +10% with the Enact law cost modifier.png For the Common Good Tribal law
    • +10% for various Change pantheon cost modifier.png pantheon deities
    • +10% per Omen.png 100% omen power for various omens
    • +10% if the Leader.png ruler has the Skeptical skeptical or Corrupt corrupt traits
    • -5% if the Leader.png ruler has the Selfish selfish trait
    • -10% if the Leader.png ruler has the Pious pious or Miserly miserly traits
    • +0.5% per point of revanchism

Base tax[edit | edit source]

Every nation, regardless of its Population.png population or Local.png number of territories, has a base tax of National tax +2 gold per month, which can then be modified by National tax national tax modifiers. This case tax is crucial for small nations' economies in the early game, but becomes largely irrelevant as the country expands and grows.

Commerce[edit | edit source]

Main article: Trade

Commerce value.png Commerce income is produced by the import and export of trade goods from the provinces where they are produced and consumed, and unlike tax happens at the province level. Each Global state trade routes.png trade route generates a certain amount of commerce income for both the importing and exporting province, with certain more valuable and exotic trade goods being worth more and foreign trade routes generating significantly more income for both sides (but especially the exporter). Each unused import route also produces a baseline amount of commerce income, though usually much less than what using the slot for a trade route would produce. Commerce income is heavily tied to trade good production and unlike tax income is highly dependent on the ability and willingness of other countries to trade, and typically increases in importance throughout the game as the efficiency of trade good production increases and import ability of cities and provinces is expanded.

Unlike National tax tax income, commerce income is not generated directly by pops, but indirectly through the Local base trade routes.png trade route production of Pop noble.png nobles and Citizens as well as the Goods from slaves.png trade good production of Slaves slaves, and so is mostly accumulated from large cities with many import routes as well as areas with high trade good production and export potential.

Tributes[edit | edit source]

Main article: Subject nations

All Vassalized.png subject states pay a certain amount of Tribute income.png tribute income to their overlord, which for most subject types comes as a certain percentage of their Wealth income. The tribute paid can be changed by various modifiers, and in particular can be adjusted to be lighter or harsher using the associated economic policy, with a corresponding bonus or malus to Tributary opinion of us.png subject opinion (and indirectly Subject loyalty.png subject loyalty). Tributaries are particularly useful for accumulating tribute income as they are available to all countries and do not take up a Diplomatic relations.png diplomatic relations slot; because of the effects of base tax, it is generally better to have many smaller tributaries than a few large ones.

Expenses[edit | edit source]

A state has many monthly expenses that must be paid, most relating to military or administrative manners. These expenses are automatically deducted from the income each month and only the balance (which may be negative) appears in the treasury. Monthly expenses must always be paid, even if the treasury is already in debt.

Army Maintenance[edit | edit source]

See also: Legion

In addition to the cost of recruitment, every raised Legion.png legion cohort also has a monthly Army maintenance cost.png legion maintenance cost that must be paid, with the base maintenance equal to 1/48 of the recruitment cost. Cohorts that are Loyalty gain chance.png loyal to a specific commander cost only 66% of their normal maintenance; legions that are led by a disloyal commander do not cost any maintenance at all.

Mercenary maintenance.png Mercenary upkeep also appears here, which is generally significantly more expensive than normal armies but do not cost Manpower.png manpower and are not restricted by population.

Levy.png Levies and Start migration cost modifier.png migratory armies do not cost any maintenance, though they have other costs associated with them.

Navy Maintenance[edit | edit source]

See also: Navy

Like permanent armies, owned ships also have a monthly Navy maintenance cost.png navy maintenance cost, with the base maintenance cost equal to 1/60 of the recruitment cost. As with armies, disloyal fleets do not cost any maintenance, while mercenary fleets have a premium that make their upkeep more expensive.

Paying Tributes[edit | edit source]

Main article: Subject nations

All Vassalized.png subject nations have a Tribute income.png tribute that must be paid to their overlord, which for most subject types is a certain proportion of their income depending on the exact subject type and can be modified by the Tribute income.png tribute income modifier of the overlord. The tribute is always paid as long as the country is a subject, even at low loyalty. Note that the tribute paid is a proportion of the total income, not the overall balance.

Fort Maintenance[edit | edit source]

See also: Fort

Every Fortification.png fort level costs a base of Wealth 0.40 gold in Fort maintenance cost.png fort maintenance each month, except for the first fort in the capital. An important consideration for fort maintenance is a province's Fortification.png fort infrastructure capacity - every new fort uses up 3 points of infrastructure, while subsequent fort levels only use 1, and every point over the limit increases fort maintenance in that province by 25%. For instance, with the default infrastructure of 5 points, this means two level 1 forts in one province cost Wealth 0.5 gold each (1 in total), while a level 2 fort costs only Wealth 0.8 gold.

It is recommended to destroy unneeded forts in the interior of the country, particularly if they are not protecting any important vulnerable cities or suppressing Unrest.png unrest in a discontent province.

Wages[edit | edit source]

See also: Position#Mechanics

Every character holding a Position government position in the country is paid a monthly Monthly wage modifier.png wage, usually a percentage of the country's total income which is determined by the exact position the character holds. Character wages therefore scale with a country's size and always form a significant part of a country's expenses, with managing the number of legates and admirals being particularly important for larger empires who may have many legions and navies that they want to be led. Wages can be modified country-wide with the Monthly wage modifier.png Monthly Wages for Characters modifier and individually per character by the Monthly wage on character modifier.png Monthly Wage modifier. Character Corruption.png corruption can significantly increase the wages that a character is paid out of the government's coffers - up to a Monthly wage on character modifier.png +250% wage modifier at Corruption.png 100 corruption - making it important to ensure that corruption does not become too endemic in the government (e.g. allowing "free hands"), lest the entirety of the country's income be drained by corrupt officials, leaving nothing for infrastructure or the military. On the other hand, there are many other factors that decrease character wages, such as adopting certain Invention.png inventions, activating certain Omen.png omens, making a family Grateful family grateful, and increasing the position holder's Popularity.png popularity.

Wages can be increased or decreased across the entire country through the wage economic policy, in addition to the default setting. Low wages can significantly increase the amount of Wealth gold available for other uses but will rapidly increase Corruption.png corruption across all of the country's office holders, which makes it infeasible for any significant length of time unless the country has very strong monthly corruption reduction modifiers as the costs of increased corruption will quickly surpass any savings from the policy. High wages, while potentially quite expensive, can be useful for wealthy countries that seek to reduce corruption without using a national idea or law slot or already have endemic corruption, so that the expenses from the policy will quickly be made up for by the decline in corruption. Notably, it is also the easiest way to decrease Corruption.png ruler corruption (which reduces Political influence.png political influence gain), particularly in monarchies which do not have access to a corruption reduction law and where a corrupt ruler may stay in power for many decades.

Economic Policies[edit | edit source]

Economic Policies can be accessed in the Menu economy.png economy screen and allow a country to control its income and spending on a country-wide level. Each policy is associated with a specific income or expenses category.

Taxes[edit | edit source]

Modifies income from National tax taxes. Taxes can be lowered to increase Pop happy.png overall happiness, or raised to increase Slave output slave output in return for Research points.png decreased research.

Policy Bonus Malus
Lax Taxation Pop happy.png +10% Population Happiness National tax -50% National Tax
Default Taxation No Effect No Effect
Harsh Taxation Slave output +12% National Slave Output Research points.png -20% Research Points

Commerce[edit | edit source]

Modifies trade income from Commerce value.png commerce. The default policy gives bonus Global capital trade routes.png trade routes to the capital, while the other two policies may be useful if the country makes a lot of gold from either Import value importing or Export value exporting.

Policy Bonus Malus
Free Trade Export value +20% Export Value Import value -15% Import Value
Trading Permits Global capital trade routes.png +2 Capital Trade Routes None
Transaction Taxation Import value +20% Import Value Export value -15% Export Value

Tributes[edit | edit source]

Modifies the tribute received from Vassalized.png subject states. More Tribute income.png tribute can be demanded in exchange for lower Tributary opinion of us.png subject opinion if the overlord is strong enough to demand it, and vice versa if a country's subject states need to be appeased. Crucially, selecting "Lax Tribute" helps greatly in reaching the +190 opinion required to integrate eligible subjects.

Policy Bonus Malus
Lax Tribute Tributary opinion of us.png +50 Subject Opinion Tribute income.png -33% Tribute Income from Subjects
Default No Effect No Effect
Extortive Tributes Tribute income.png +25% Tribute Income from Subjects Tributary opinion of us.png -50 Subject Opinion

Army Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Modifies Integrated culture happiness integrated culture happiness and Army maintenance cost.png army maintenance cost in return for Morale.png army morale. Gold can be saved and pops made happier while at peace by decreasing pay when armies are not needed, while wealthier countries can improve the quality of their armies in wartime by increasing pay - even if they do not have any Legion.png legions to pay army maintenance on. Note that the Decreased Pay option disables Drill army drilling for Starting experience army experience and Military experience.png military experience.

The default Levy.png {+7.5% levy size modifier is also given through this policy, though note that all three options have the same modifier (and so the choice of economic policy here makes no difference to the levy size).

Policy Bonus Malus
Decreased Pay Integrated culture happiness +5% Integrated Culture Happiness
Army maintenance cost.png -25% Legion Maintenance Cost
Levy.png +7.5% Levy Size Modifier
Morale.png -25% Morale of Armies
Normal Pay Levy.png +7.5% Levy Size Modifier No Effect
Increased Pay Morale.png +10% Morale of Armies
Levy.png +7.5% Levy Size Modifier
Integrated culture happiness -5% Integrated Culture Happiness
Army maintenance cost.png +25% Legion Maintenance Cost

Fleet Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Like army maintenance, modifies Navy maintenance cost.png navy maintenance cost in return for Morale.png navy morale, and can be used to save gold while at peace or to improve its fighting ability when at war, if higher pay can be afforded.

Policy Bonus Malus
Decreased Pay Navy maintenance cost.png -50% Naval Maintenance Cost Morale.png -80% Morale of Navies
Normal Pay No Effect No Effect
Increased Pay Morale.png +5% Morale of Navies Navy maintenance cost.png +50% Naval Maintenance Cost

Fort Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Modifies Fort maintenance cost.png fort maintenance in return for Garrison garrison size and Fort defense.png fort defense. Gold can be saved while at peace by decreasing fort maintenance when not needed - though this can leave border forts vulnerable to a sudden attack of declaration of war - while wealthier countries can improve the quality of their existing forts by improving their garrisons and fortifications.

Policy Bonus Malus
Ignored Garrisons Fort maintenance cost.png -15% Fort Maintenance Garrison -50% Garrison Size
Fort defense.png -50% Fort Defense
Paid Garrisons No Effect No Effect
Extortive Tributes Garrison +10% Garrison Size
Fort defense.png +10% Fort Defense
Fort maintenance cost.png +25% Fort Maintenance

Wages[edit | edit source]

Modifies Monthly wage modifier.png character wages in return for Corruption.png corruption. Reducing wages can be used if gold is urgently needed, but is not viable in the long term as the increased wages from Corruption.png corruption will eventually far outstrip any savings from the wage reductions of the policies. Increasing wages is the most reliable way to reduce countrywide corruption and can be quite useful if the country can afford it.

Policy Bonus Malus
Reduced Wages Monthly wage modifier.png -25% Monthly Wages for Characters
Monthly wage on character modifier.png -25% Governor Wage
Corruption.png +0.25 Monthly Corruption
Normal Wages No Effect No Effect
Increased Wages Corruption.png -0.10 Monthly Corruption Monthly wage modifier.png +50% Monthly Wages for all Characters
Monthly wage on character modifier.png +50% Governor Wage

Deficit[edit | edit source]

If a country's Treasury.png treasury is below 0 at the end of a month (after applying that month's income and expenses), whether from a negative balance or from losing Wealth gold in an event, the country will be considered to be in Bankruptcy.png deficit. It will be unable to pay its officials and soldiers properly, destabilizing the regime and giving the following modifiers:

  • Loyalty gain chance.png +25% Cohort Loyalty Gain Chance
  • Political influence.png -50% Monthly Political Influence
  • Stability.png -0.20 Monthly Stability Change

Any employed Mercenary maintenance.png mercenaries will also become disloyal.

If the treasury falls below -50, a number of special events can trigger. Many of these events will give Wealth gold and may well help the country turn around its financial situation, but many of them come at a significant price, such as reduced Research points.png research, lower Global population growth.png population growth, or an Land morale recovery.png army morale malus. Going into deficit while a Mercenary maintenance.png mercenary army is employed is especially dangerous, as they may offer their services to the opposing side or even seize control over the local province as their 'payment'.

Out of the valid options, one of the following will occur each month as long as a country is in deficit:

  • Bad Planning, with a weight of 10 (Land morale recovery.png -10% Morale of Armies and Land morale recovery.png -5% Army Morale Recovery for Wealth 3 times the monthly income)
  • Deficit!, with a weight of 10 (Global population growth.png -0.02% National Population Growth for Wealth 3 times the monthly income)
  • Desperate Measures, with a weight of 10 (Stability.png -5 stability for Wealth 3 times the monthly income)
  • A Friend in Need..., with a weight of 10 (Character loyalty -3 Loyalty of Characters and Stability.png -5 stability for Wealth 6 times the monthly income)
  • Tightening the Strings, with a weight of 10 (Research points.png -25% Research Points for Wealth 6 times the monthly income)
  • A Gift from the Gods, with a weight of 10 (Gain Wealth 6 times the monthly income)
  • Defection!, with a weight of 100 (Mercenary maintenance.png Mercenaries attempt to defect)
  • Mercenary Secession!, with a weight of 25 (Mercenary maintenance.png Mercenaries seize control of the local province)
  • Rebels Without a Cause, with a weight of 50 (Mercenary maintenance.png Mercenaries leave)
  • Nothing, with a weight of 100

Note that the deficit alert at the top bar is somewhat misleading - it only appears once the deficit is larger than the monthly balance, but also implies negative events will happen even if the balance is greater than Treasury.png -50. Hovering over the current stability and checking for the -0.20 monthly stability penalty can be used to properly confirm if the country is in deficit.