Led by an automotive resurgence, Michigan's economy grew 2.3% during 2011, a pace that put it at sixth best for the country.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan's economy growth was still smaller then before the Great Recession, but it was the most rapid expansion among the Great Lake states. The next closest Great Lakes state, in terms of growth, was Illinois which saw their economy grow by 1.3% last year.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, released the rankings and growth rates Tuesday. BEA also reported that growth of inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, which is the total output of goods and services, increased in all areas of the country, albeit at a slower pace than during 2010's expansion.

Michigan's total output of cars, tourism, computer software and all other goods and services totaled $337.4 billion in 2011 according to BEA estimates. The state's economy has been growing at a health pace since 2010, but the total output remains just below the $345 billion level posted in 2008.

However, according to the Free Press, Michigan's economy continues to fall behind those of faster growing states. In 2000, Michigan ranked as the nations ninth largest economy of all the states. In 2011, Michigan ranked 13th.

In the short term however, Michigan is rebounding better than almost all the other states.