Barclays said the retail sales report lowered its third-quarter GDP tracking estimate by two-tenths to 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual rate.
"The data imply lower (personal consumption and expenditures) than we had estimated (2.5 percent from 2.6 percent) at the back of slightly softer core and food sales," Barclays Chief U.S. Economist Michael Gapen said in a report Thursday.
"In addition, lower sales of building materials, furniture and appliances brought our tracking estimate for residential investment down too," he said. "The (industrial production) report for August left our GDP tracking estimate unchanged after rounding as softer inventories were offset by stronger structures investment."
After the retail sales report, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model for third-quarter GDP growth declined to 3.0 percent, down from 3.3 percent on September 9.
Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG, said in a note Thursday that the firm will stick to its 2.5 percent growth estimate. "If GDP is close to 3 percent this quarter it will only be due to a one-off jump in inventories rebuild that does nothing for the growth outlook in future quarters," he said. "The economy is sputtering."
The BEA's third estimate on second-quarter growth is scheduled for release on September 29, and the initial estimate on third quarter growth is due for release on October 28.
—Reuters and CNBC's Patti Domm and John Schoen contributed to this report.