26/12/2013 06:06 GMT | Updated 26/12/2013 06:22 GMT

UK 'Will Replace Germany As Europe's Top Economy By 2030'

AFP via Getty Images
British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greets Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) during the official arrrivals for the start of the G8 Summit in at the Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland on June 17, 2013. The conflict in Syria was set to dominate the G8 summit starting in Northern Ireland on Monday, with Western leaders upping pressure on Russia to back away from its support for President Bashar al-Assad. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS (Photo credit should read BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain will leapfrog Germany and France to be Europe's top economy within two decades, according to a new report.

The think tank Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) forecast that the UK's GDP will overtake France by 2018 before leapfrogging Germany around 2030, leaving it second to the United States as the most successful Western economy.

"Germany is forecast to lose its position as the largest Western European economy to the UK around 2030 because of the UK's faster population growth and lesser dependence on the other European economies," the report said.

But the CEBR warned that Germany would not be leapfrogged by the UK if it left the euro and went back to the Deutsche Mark.

The report read: "If the euro were to break up, Germany's outlook would be much better. A Deutsche Mark-based Germany certainly would not be overtaken by the UK for many years if ever."

The CEBR's prediction about the UK's economic success coincides with analysis from PwC which suggests the effects of economic austerity would last until 2030.

According to the CEBR, the gap between Britain and Germany's economies will fall from almost £610 billion in 2013 to just £183 billion in five years.

The UK's GDP will grow from more than £1.59 trillion in 2013 to £2.6 trillion in 2028, compared to China which is predicted to be in top position with a GDP of more than £20.5 trillion, ahead of the US with an estimated £19.7 trillion.