How do you manage your early game economy? Do you do it like me, where I crash my econ as quickly as possible, setting up the fastest number of colonies possible, and then setting the spending and tax slider as low as possible (for 100% approval in the newer colonies) and wait for pop to recover?
It really depends on the game settings/map and the way how you build up your planets (mixed, all lab or all facs) but here are some tips.
Convert your homesystem into a great productive facility buying buildings on the longest term lease. In all fac you then can use the remaining 2000bcs to pump out a colony cheap every turn.
In an all lab setting only produce hulls with focus from research and upgrade these to Colony Ship. In is utmost important that you research the first tiers of Miniaturization very early on so you can use tiny hulls for colony ships and else.
You can also techbroker, with techbrokering turned on you want to maximize this by selling a branch of technology to *all* AIs in a single turn to make the most out of it. Furthermore, the order to sell techs to the AI has a specific order, you want always to sell one-by-one, beginning from the most advanced tech in a branch. It is perfect when you have researched the branch completely to the end which is very hard initially so actually you don't want to throw around with the techs you have. Just sell so much that you can support your game.
Research Sensors early and rely alot on surveying-income. You can also easily trade for enemy scouts and turn them into surveyors once you have the miniaturization. This way you can also get some fast Freighters off.
There's some trick with this (which might be also a bug exploit but whatever...): Scouts usually have a boatload of range so what you can do is trade for some that are far away deep in enemy terrain so what you do is target them onto a possible planet in range, then upgrade them to a basic freighter. This way he will still follow his course although he doesn't really have sufficient range after the upgrade^^
Don't build anything on new planets beside Starport, Recruiting Center & Fertiliy Clinics.
Initially keep taxes so high that your planets are in yellow and then ship around the pop of your starting planet to the lesser planets until approval is kinda equal. Once you have enough planets colonized keep taxes at 100% this is utmost important to get enough pop because pop alone will be able to support your economy.
There are some techs which you really want to disseminate vs the AI bvecause in the end it will mean more money for you and this is eg Trade techs or Econ techs. There are also those that will mean the opposite and this is everything about production.