Last month the Commerce Department reported a 1.1% increase in retail sales, thanks to the strength of the automotive sector; Reuters consensus anticipated a rise of 0.7%.
Sales growth during August was revised upward to 0.3 percent.
Excluding automobiles, sales growth in September was 0.6%, twice more than expected by economists.
Sales of cars and parts surged 3.6%, their largest increase since March 2010.
Consumer spending represents about two-thirds of economic activity in the United States.