Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and foodservices, retail sales increased 0.4 percent last month after being unchanged in August.
Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores increased 1.7% from September a year ago, well below the broad retail sector's 4.7% gain, according to the latest U.S. Department of Commerce report.
United States retail sales soared in September led by a surge in those for motor vehicles and parts. Sales were down 0.4% from the month before - based on an August sales estimate revised down slightly to $9.61 billion.
Sales at home and garden supply stores rose 2.1 percent, probably lifted by hurricane preparation, as well as repairs and renovations in the aftermath of the storms.
From July through September, furniture and home furnishings store sales were up 3.8% from the same three months a year ago and increased 0.2% from April-through-June period, the report said. Grocery store sales increased 0.8 percent, the most since April 2016, likely boosted by restocking after the hurricanes hit. Sales at online retailers climbed 0.5 percent in September.
Retail sales increased 4.4 percent on an annual basis. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Receipts at restaurants and bars jumped 0.8 percent and sales at sporting goods and hobby stores fell 0.2 percent.
USA economic growth likely slowed in the July-September quarter as the hurricanes shut down thousands of businesses, employees were forced to miss work, and power was cut to millions of homes.
Yet the economy is expected to rebound in the final three months of the year as rebuilding and fix work accelerates. Economists expect growth will pick up to a 2.5 percent to 3 percent pace.