All countries begin with 150 cash. Each country has a different amount of cities which gives them a different amount of resources. There are also some countries that already has a fair amount of infrastructure in place, (in particular West Germany). Here we will give a quick overview on how to get a strong economy flowing.
There are 4 different resources: cash, manpower, science, and construction materials. Cash is required to build everything, manpower is required to build units and industries, science is required to research, and construction materials is required to build infrastructure.
Cash and Construction Edit
The first thing you want to do, is start upgrading your cities industry. (hotkey x) After getting the buildings you need, War factories, barracks, airports and tech centers, you should put the upgrade industry to autocast, so you can manage your army without needing to upgrade industry every now and then.
When you have amassed a wealth of construction materials you can concentrate on building as many industries as you can. Do not forget to purchase the first upgrade for economy before you do so since that will allow you to upgrade your construction materials factories to improved ones with a significantly better income. Having as many factories as you can all upgraded to the max around your cities will lead to a good economy allowing you to purchase stronger units in greater numbers.
As a major country you have access to more techs than a neutral country. To get stronger techs than other major countries however you will need to invest in science. Building universities, while expensive, may pay off in the long run as you may find yourself far ahead in the tech war as you throw Main Battle Tanks at your poor foe's armies. For a neutral country, techs are relatively less important as they cannot purchase the highest tier techs and so must make up for it in quantity. Nevertheless, building some universities still has the benefit of purchasing upgrades for higher quality troops.
The last resource, manpower can only come from cities. Generally the more cities you have the more advantage you have in manpower. This is why you should always be aiming to take as many cities as you can, as early as you can. Manpower can become a huge factor in the late game due to attrition. Each unit and factory costs manpower and you may find you have no manpower when you need to keep producing units to defend yourself. The only other way besides taking more cities is to change your policy to conscription which gives you a huge manpower boost for a relatively small cost to income.
Policies come from your government centre. They can allow you to mange your economy in a more focussed way, by prioritising manpower, or cash, or science, or construction materials. Choose your policies wisely and you may find yourself with a huge tech advantage, with a huge army advantage, or with a huge resource advantage. But beware, there is a downside to every policy, and you cannot change your policy back until after a long cooldown period!