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Economy interface

In EU4, the national and international economy underpin almost every function of a country, and often fuels international diplomacy. Understanding and nurturing the country's economy yields better national finances, allowing the country to boost its standing in the world and further grow at a faster pace. Economics in the game revolve around the income and expenditure of ducats, the game's international currency, into and out of the country's treasury.


Income is the sum of all money gained monthly. Unlike in EU3, all income is liquid and does not need to be minted.

Fun fact: The maximum amount of ducats a country can acquire is 1 million, however this number is seldom reached and extremely difficult to reach (if at all possible) without using an extended timeline mod.


Main article: Tax

Tax comes directly from the population and produces a relatively dependable baseline income. Each province has a base tax and a tax income efficiency. The yearly province tax amount is simply (base tax) * (tax efficiency).


Main article: Production

Production is a measure of the amount of income generated by local trade good producers. Unlike in EU3, production income is added directly to the state's income each month.


Main article: Trade

The Trade Value produced by each province flows into the trade network, where it is eventually collected by capitals and Merchants and converted into ducats. Careful management of trade can make it the most powerful source of income by far.


Gold is a special "trade" good. Gold does not produce any Trade Value; instead, it is converted directly into ducats. Gold production income is equal to 40 ducats per year per unit produced, with the exception of pagan and shamanistic countries which receive income equal to only 1 ducat per year per unit produced. Income from gold causes inflation per year equal to half its proportion of the country's income; at 100% income inflation would increase by 0.50% per year.

With the El Dorado expansion enabled, colonial nations with gold provinces will not receive the income of gold for themselves, but instead will store it in a ‘Treasure Fleet Counter’ that counts up towards a certain sum depending on the size of the colony’s gold mines. Once the counter is full, the colony will send a treasure fleet. The treasure fleet travels downstream along the trade routes, passing each node between the colonial nation and its mother nation’s trade capital. If there are privateers present in these nodes, they will steal a share of the gold corresponding to their power in the node. At the end of the journey, any money that remains is given to the mother nation, who suffer some inflation depending on the amount of money relative to the size of their economy.

Nations who do not have their trade capital downstream of their colonies’ trade nodes will be unable to receive treasure fleets. In these cases, the colonial nation will simply keep the gold for themselves, paying just the usual amount in tariffs.


Main article: Tariffs

A colonial nation has to transfer a part of the total income, called tariffs, to its overlords. At formation this part are 10%. The tariffs can be set for each colonial nation by the overlord in the subject interface or may change through events.


Main article: Income from vassals

Vassals have to pay a fee to their overlords. The basis for calculating this fee is the tax income of the vassal. The amount of shares that must be paid is determined by the ‘vassals tax efficiency’ of the overlord.

Harbor fees[edit]

Signing a fleet basing agreement with another country will cost an amount equal to 0.1Gold Icon.png[1] per month for every port belonging to the other country with a minimum of 0.5Gold Icon.png and maximum of 2.0Gold Icon.png per month.

The AI never asks to access ports of the player, and the player can never offer it (there is a -1000 "strategic interests" modifier). Whether the province is cored or not has no effect on the cost of fleet basing rights.


Countries that have a strategic interest in another country's wars may grant war subsidies to that country.

Spoils of war[edit]

  • Looting: Looting happens when an enemy province is captured (but not re-captured or liberated). Looting a province provides an instant amount of money equal to that province's base tax. However, the player cannot gain money from looting if the province has already been looted in the past half year, or if the province borders the attacking country's territory.
  • Privateer: See privateering for more details.
  • War reparations: Upon losing a war, a country can be forced into giving 10% of its income for 10 years to the winning party. See war reparations for more details. (Art of War DLC)



Main article: Advisor cost

Advisors have a base monthly salary equal to the square of their skill level, increased by 0.5% per game year since 1444.

State maintenance[edit]

Main article: State maintenance

States require continuous monetary upkeep, depending on the development of the provinces, the distance to the capital and further modifiers.


Loans have a default interest rate of 4% per year, paid monthly. The interest rate is increased by 1% for every point of negative stability, can be decreased by various events, decisions, and unique national ideas (minimum 0.25%). Interest per annum is decreased by certain ideas and policies.

Interest per annum.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Genoese traditions
  • Administrative idea 4: Bookkeeping
  • Economic idea 4: Debt and Loans
  • Austrian idea 3: Fugger Banking
  • Gutnish idea 7: Found Visby Bank
  • Hamburger idea 6: Berenberg Bank
  • Hanseatic idea 7: The Hansa Bank
  • Tuscan idea 3: Tuscan Banking
  • Innovative-Trade: The Banking System

Diplomatic expenses[edit]

Diplomatic expenses.
  • Subsidies: sending ducats to foreign governments
  • Vassal fee: Paying 10% of tax to overlord
  • Outgoing tariffs: money paid to your overlord as a colonial nation
  • War Reparations: Paying 10% of your income for the length of the 10 years. See war reparations for more details. (Art of War DLC)
  • Support Rebels: expending ducats to increase reinforcement rate of foreign rebels (unrest risk increase occurs with any financial support above 50% support)
  • Send officers:
  • Condottieri fees:
  • Harbor fees: for fleet basing rights. See also the corresponding income section:Harbor Fees

Colonial maintenance[edit]

See also: Colonial maintenance

Colonies cost money to maintain until they become full cities. The cost per year is (24 + (development * 0.25)), so the cost per month is roughly (2 + (development * 0.02)), thus a 5 development province will cost about 2.10 Gold Icon.png per month to colonize, a 6 development province will cost 2.12, etc. The cost is further increased quadratically for each active colony past the limit of colonists. Thus with limit of colonists equal to 2, the third colony will cost 100% extra, the fourth will cost 400% extra, and so on.

Colonial maintenance can be reduced, but at the cost of colonial growth. It is scaled so that at 0% funding colonies will shrink by -100 settlers per year, at 50% funding colonies will have exactly 0 global settler increase, not growing and not shrinking, and at 100%, there is no malus to growth - full global settler increase modifiers will be applied. Note that provincial modifiers are applied separately, e.g., tropical colony will shrink by -110 with zero maintenance due to additional -10 provincial modifier.

Colonial maintenance does not affect growth from colonist agents.

Missionary maintenance[edit]

Main article: Missionary maintenance

Each active missionary costs 5Gold Icon.png per year at full funding. Reducing missionary maintenance reduces missionary strength.

Rout out corruption[edit]

Land maintenance[edit]

At full army maintenance, each fielded regiment has a monthly maintenance cost equal to 2% of its recruitment price, which includes the effects of production cost modifiers, but ignores any mercenary recruitment cost modifiers. This amount is halved when at minimal army maintenance. It is also increased by 5% for each level in military technology. If the total number of regiments exceeds the land force limit, then the overall maintenance cost will be increased by a factor of total number of regiments / land force limit. For regiment that have taken casualties, their base maintenance cost will be reduced in proportion to the losses taken, but the displayed maintenance cost will also include the cost of reinforcements. See Army#Reinforcements for details.

Naval maintenance[edit]

Fleet maintenance works the same as army maintenance but with several exceptions. First, naval maintenance increases at discrete steps rather than continuously. It is increased by 10% at Diplomatic tech levels 0 and 3, by 20% at levels 9 and 15, and by 25% at levels 19, 22, 25, 27, 29, and 31 (total +210%). Second, each vessel type has its own maintenance modifier. Third, vessels do not cost increased maintenance to repair, but also do not cost reduced maintenance if damaged.

  • Counter-intuitively, War Taxes do not increase tax income. Instead, they decrease army and navy maintenance by 20% each.
  • With Art of War, mothballing allows your naval units to be left unusable in your docks for lower maintenance and giving your ships 5% hull damage per year of being mothballed.


Taking a loan grants an amount of money equal to 12 months' income by default. Acquiring the National Bank idea in Economic Idea Group can trigger an event in which loans can be changed to grant money equal to 6 or 24 months' income.

An unlimited number of loans may be taken at any time, although each loan taken increases inflation by 0.1. A loan may be paid back in full, plus the total remaining interest owed, at any time during the loan period. If a loan expires and the borrower cannot (or chooses not to) pay the principal, the loan will be extended for an additional 5 years at the current interest rate, and inflation will increase by an additional 0.1.

Loans from countries[edit]

Countries that have a strategic interest in another country's wars may grant loans to that country. Currently disabled (permanent -100 modifier).

Interest of loans from countries[edit]

It's set by the country granting the loan.

CB for cancelling loan[edit]

If the borrower refuse to pay the principal when a loan expires, the lender gets a 12-month CB "Cancelled Loan" against the borrower. Note: As of 1.4, players are unable to grant loans to AI countries.

Bank loans[edit]

Interest of bank loans[edit]

See #Interest


If the combined monthly interest of loans exceeds a country's monthly income, the country will be forced to declare bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy gives a number of negative effects for 10 years:[2]

National unrest.png +3 National unrest
Interest per annum.png +10% Interest per annum
Morale of armies.png −100% Morale of armies
Morale of navies.png −100% Morale of navies
Reinforce speed.png −25% Reinforcement speed
Bureaucrats faction influence +25% Bureaucrats faction influence
Guilds influence +25% The guilds influence
Manpower recovery speed.png −100% Manpower recovery speed
Sailor recovery speed.png −100% Sailor recovery speed
Advisor cost.png +100% Advisor cost
Monthly fervor increase.png −2 Monthly fervor
Global settler increase.png −200 Global settler increase
Autonomy.png +0.20 Monthly autonomy change

Entering bankruptcy also removes 25% of your current inflation, reduces stability by 3, reduces legitimacy or republican tradition to 0, and reduces all monarch power to 0. All of your mercenaries, advisors and loans are also dismissed.

  • Financial Ruin

There are two events related to bankruptcy. Note that these events don't automatically cause bankruptcy; it's entirely possible to receive them without going bankrupt.


In economics, inflation is an increase in the price of goods over time. In gameplay terms, inflation makes all expenses cost more. Low levels of inflation (around 10%), though not ideal, are reasonable. Around 20% or higher, this could signify an economic catastrophe, and measures must be taken to avoid total collapse.

Contrary to real life, inflation in game does not mean constantly increasing prices, but rather a flat increase the country's expenses. In real life certain incomes would increase with inflation as well. This reflects that the in game "ducats" have a constant value over the course of centuries and serve as an absolute indicator of value. In the real history the value of gold was just as volatile as anything else. The in-game inflation simply represents the inflation over the time between collecting income and spending it, therefore representing that the income has lost value while it was sitting in the country's treasury.

Gaining inflation[edit]

Inflation is increased by the following:

  • Each loan taken or extended increases inflation by +0.10.
  • Income from gold increases inflation by 0.50 per year times the proportion of income from gold.
  • Lump sums of monetary compensation claimed in a peace treaty (but not reparations) cause a one-time increase of inflation.
  • Selling provinces to other nations
  • Receiving gifts from other nations
  • (El Dorado.png El Dorado DLC) Receiving or plundering treasure fleets
  • Various events can increase inflation.

These are all situations where the country's money supply is expanded. In economics, an expansion in the supply of money without corresponding economic growth causes a decrease in its value, i.e. inflation. Before the middle of the 20th century, and certainly during the period of EU4, currency was only considered money to the extent that it was either made of or backed by gold (and silver, which is represented by gold in the game), which is why gold income (a direct injection of pure money) causes inflation.

Reducing inflation[edit]


Several effects reduce inflation over time.

  • The Master of Mint advisor reduces inflation by -0.10 per year.
  • Various events, decisions, triggered modifiers, and mission rewards can reduce inflation.
Inflation reduction.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
+0.10 yearly
  • Mexican traditions
  • Mutapan traditions
  • Economic idea 3: National Bank
  • Andean idea 3: Tears of the Sun
  • Brazilian idea 3: Mines of Minas Gerais
  • Butua idea 2: Strict Gold Trade Regulations
  • Dutch idea 1: Found the Amsterdam Wisselbank
+0.05 yearly
  • Austrian idea 3: Fugger Banking


If passive means are unavailable or insufficient, the Reduce Inflation button in the budget panel reduces inflation by -2.00 in exchange for -75 Administrative Power.

Reduce inflation cost.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Innovative idea 5: Resilient State

War Taxes[edit]

Counter-intuitively, War Taxes do not increase tax income. They instead decrease maintenance and increase available mercenaries for two years at the cost of 50 Military power.png Military Power. This bonus will end as soon as the nation is at peace. Unlike previous versions, and contrary to loading screen hints, raising war taxes does not affect war exhaustion. The bonus given are:

Land maintenance modifier.png −20% Land maintenance modifier
Naval maintenance modifier.png −20% Naval maintenance modifier
Available mercenaries.png +5% Available Mercenaries


  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: DIP_PORT_FEES = 0.1, -- DIP_PORT_FEES
  2. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers#Bankruptcy).
Concepts BuildingsColonizationTradeTrade goodsTrade nodesTrade companyTariffsDevelopmentTaxProductionOverextensionWar exhaustion