WASHINGTON — The federal government ran a $91.6 billion budget deficit in October, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday.

The October deficit followed a $75.1 billion surplus in September. The October deficit was less than the median $104.0 billion deficit projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

Outlays in October totaled $290.5 billion, compared to $226.4 billion in September. Receipts totaled $198.9 billion in October, compared to $301.5 billion for the previous month.

The decrease in outlays in October could relate to the 16-day federal government shutdown during the month and the continuing impact of the spending cuts known as sequestration, a Treasury official said. However, it's impossible for Treasury to tell definitively if the shutdown affected the deficit because federal agencies do not collect data at that level.

In October 2012, the government ran a $120.0 billion deficit. October is the first month in the federal government's fiscal year.

The federal government has run a deficit in each of the last 60 Octobers. The month has no major tax due dates, the Treasury official said.

Year-over-year changes to October were impacted by timing-related transactions, Treasury said. Taking into account a calendar adjustment, the October 2013 deficit would have been $83 billion, $37 billion less than the deficit in October 2012.

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