I'll probably be flogged alive on this forum, but I honestly can't see the connection between C++ and economy. Certainly not in a way that I couldn't see with Java, or C#, or Visual Basic or,... you get the idea.
Frankly, were I in your shoes, and not wanting to be a programmer, but still wanting to get a good enough grip on programming knowledge to give me some added tools as an economist, I'd choose something that would offer me a more practical approach. Java or C# being today good candidates and already packed with all sorts of libraries that will simply just reduce the time between deciding what program you need and finishing your program. These are also more permissive tools. C++ is very demanding on the programmer, in that it demands a very good grasp of the language in order to produce a finished product of good quality.
I'd stay away from C++ if, like you say, you don't want to become a programmer.