Despite its seminal date with the next turn being January 1900, in truth this was more of the same as the last few years. Or to be precise, it saw a massive rebalancing of the Italian agricultural, mineral and manufacturing sectors. Picking up on the discussion in recent posts, and the invaluable advice, it was clear I've been being too lazy in reviewing my full production (in truth I've been more interested in the prestige gains).
Anyway, I decided I really needed to sort out the food and common goods problems even at the expense of lost prestige – the risk of serious social unrest otherwise was too much. So there is a substantial section at the end of this update on how I did that – feel free to skip (it is right at the end) or see it as one approach to late game industrial planning .
Heres the usual opening and end industry reports. As you can see, things look quite different (I did most of the changes in about June-July).
In January, food production/consumption was 959/994, common goods I was meeting their demand of 856. By the end, for food I was producing 972 (demand still at 994), common goods and luxuries 547 of 572
The main changes are the explosion in coffee (this I try to adjust by putting a lot up for sale and closing some sites) and that tobbacco, wine and opium come back into regular production (who says I don't care about the health of my digital citizens). Production of all the food items (apart from sugar which I mostly rely on imports for) again stabilises. Key at the top is that row #2 shows planned, not actual production.
As with the changes in food, its clear that putting my production on a sounder basis has improved supply of key goods. Coal really shows what I have done, direct production is now covered by my own coal output (almost all located in the US and France), this is the shift from -410 to +77. Equally, as discussed below, my goal of improving my stock seems to be working out.
So thanks to all who helped spot the problem. Such a complete recalibration is easier in 1899 than it was in 1850 as you have much more stable production and trade flows. Having said that, it also takes a lot of time, with the volume of input and output flows.
Diplomacy, War and Colonial Events
For some reason Bulgaria decided to threaten me. Well the old, not-nice, screaming opera star diplomatic corps would have arranged for a war. The new nice Italy, just shrugs.
Britain isn't so lucky, as the Boer war breaks out. This should be an interesting test of their recovery from the damage I inflicted.
Well the British surrendered to one bunch of Boers pretty quickly
Italy's new model of being nice, rather catches on
Here's a broad overview of the Empire. As you can see, Prussia is back to being a real pain in Tanganiyka. Zanzibar and Urundi, if I wasn't so committed to 'being nice', this is the sort of thing that could lead to war. I also spot the Ottomans engaging in Yemen.
The major shift of production priorities has an impact on my prestige gain.
So, the main thing is my growth is now around 9,000 (from 164,653 to 174,375) so despite all my fiddling with the economy, its actually improved a little. Britain is up around 2,500 (112,281 to 114,602) and I have gone from 73% of my target to 76%.
However, I am becoming more reliant on industrially generated prestige as I am playing very few development cards (I want to keep population growth under control) so I need to keep progress under careful review.
In terms of losses only 700 soldiers managed to get themselves killed (from 3,582,371 to 3,583,071) and my NM is slowly falling towards 100 (its at 112 now).
Anyway, its new years eve 1899, party time
And new exciting techs. Most of those are the building blocks to the Dreadnoughts and a useful artillery upgrade.
 I know the Twentieth Century doesn't start to 1901, but its time for a big end of 50 years game play party
 Below here is the industrial planning discussion.
Unlike early game, I don't have multiple problems (ie Capital, Manufactures, Coal and so on). So my goal is to ensure I don't over consume coal and that the stocks go to where they are needed.
Production under my control is 870 and looking over the import pattern, though it varies, I think I can assume around 200 per turn.
Of that, a net 175 is being used before it is available for production (I can't depress domestic sales below 40%)
Now what I did was tedious but useful. I calculated how much coal was needed for all my open production sites. This came to 1026 (below). I wanted to improve my stocks by 95 per turn so decided I could only use 800 in actual production.
Key here was back to my trusty B screen to look for goods that were easy to import. Steel was one which really hurt after all the effort I had put into creating a large steel industry. So I closed down 4 out of my 10 steel plants. Basically I prioritised agriculture and luxury goods as far as I could. Shipbuilding took a hit (3 of 5 closed as they used 17 coal per turn each). This was painful, to put it mildly.
Once this was done, I kept an eye on coal stocks – which started to improve
Also the shift in focus moved me from around +2000 balance of payments surplus to a 1000 deficit
Thereafter as some stocks built up, I worked within the 800 constraint and opened and closed items to come to a better balance. So for example, my canned goods plants (these produce manufactures) were closed to diver the coal to other options and to ensure my limited imports of canned food went to feed the population. I juggled between coffee and other uses and so on. Giving each change a couple of turns and reviewing the coal stock as my principle concern.