Chinese women are taking control of household finances and spending more on themselves according to a new survey released August 24 by Women of China magazine.

The survey, which polled 1,047 women across ten major cities in China including Beijing and Shanghai, found that in 2009 Chinese women saved only 24 percent of their income as opposed to the 30 percent they saved in 2006.

Those surveyed spent an average of 21,900 Chinese yuan (€2,543) on consumer goods; while previously the main spending areas for Chinese women have been in clothing and apparel, the survey found that the majority of Chinese women are now spending increased amounts of money on cosmetics and health related goods.

The rising demand for cosmetics, beauty and health products amongst the Chinese can be seen in the growth of retailers such as popular health and beauty chain Watsons, which is expected to increase its stores in mainland China from 450 in 2009 to 1000 in 2010.

Trade shows such as the Natural Products Expo held in Hong Kong August 26-28 are placing increasing emphasis on the market for cosmetics and beauty products within Asia; this year will be the first year the trade show has booths dedicated solely to beauty and supplement products.

The increased spending and decreased saving amongst Chinese women is attributed to women playing a larger role in management of household finances, changes in consumption and the increased popularity of internet shopping, according to Han Xiangjing, of Women of China magazine.

Chinese total retail sales of consumer goods, according to the Ministry of Commerce, totaled 12.53 trillion yuan (€1.4 trillion) in 2009, with a year-on-year increase of 15.5 percent. China recently overtook Japan as the world's second largest economy, and is expected to overtake America within the next decade.