Marple's Pacific Northwest Letter, a bible of the Northwest economy, is predicting that Oregon, "if not yet in recession, likely soon will be." The reasons: sectors like lumber exposed to the homebuilding recession; continued manufacturing decline in computer chips and electronic instruments, which have not fully recovered since the 2001 dot.com meltdown; and overall manufacturing decline since mid-2006. Other states in the region will fare better, Mike Parks, the newsletter's publisher, says. Montana is exporting copper, precious metals, and wheat, much of this led by China's demand. Alaska is swimming in cash due to high oil prices. Idaho is attracting affluent retirees and near-retirees. And Washington has the weak dollar to boost exports and continued hiring at Boeing and Microsoft. As that survey suggests, the recession if we have one will be very uneven. The Northwest is likely to fare better than most regions, thanks to population growth, those new Boeing jets, high prices for agricultural commodities, and the low cost of hydro power. And what about British Columbia? It's economy has been very strong, and it may be about to emerge as one of North America's biggest areas for natural gas exploration. The Province has reacted to rising royalty rates in Alberta by making attractive deals to energy companies. But there are also reasons to worry in B.C. Among the reasons for pessimism: the high Canadian dollar, hurting exports, a labor shortage, and possible economic impacts from the new carbon tax, the most sweeping in North America.