The government closed out January with its first monthly budget surplus of the fiscal year, but analysts noted the $1.76 billion black-ink posting announced on Friday was much smaller than usual for the month because of the recession's toll on tax receipts.

The overall deficit totaled $84.5 billion after the first four months of fiscal 1991, 35.7 percent larger than the $62.3 billion imbalance incurred during the same period of 1990, the Treasury Department said.The Bush administration projects the year's gap will total a record $318.1 billion, up from $220.4 billion last year. The previous record of $221.1 billion was set in 1986.

Receipts for the first four months of fiscal 1991 totaled $355.6 billion, up 8.3 percent from the same period in fiscal 1990. Outlays of $440.1 billion were 12.7 percent more than spent in the first four months of fiscal 1990.

For January, revenues totaled $101.8 billion, just 2.3 percent above receipts of a year earlier. At the same time, expenditures totaled $100.0 billion, up 9.6 percent from January 1990.

But the resulting $1.76 billion surplus was down a sharp 78.7 percent from the $8.28 billion black-ink posting in January 1990.