WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government posted a $44 billion budget deficit in October, the first month of the 2017 fiscal year, a 68 percent decrease from the same month last year, the Treasury Department said on Thursday.

This gap in October 2015 was $137 billion, according to Treasury's monthly budget statement.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected an $80 billion budget deficit for last month. When accounting for calendar adjustments, October would have shown an $84 billion deficit compared to an adjusted $88 billion deficit in the same month of 2015.

Since 2009, when President Barack Obama assumed the presidency in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the deficit has fallen by two thirds.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to cut taxes and increase spending on infrastructure and the military, which would raise the deficit, economists say.

Receipts last month totaled $222 billion, a 5 percent increase from October 2015, while outlays stood at $266 billion, down 24 percent from the same month a year ago.

(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Andrea Ricci)