ST. PETERSBURG, May 22 /ITAR-TASS/. Foreign direct capital investment in Russia’s non-financial sector reached $12 billion in the first quarter of 2014, which is a sign of investors’ continued confidence in the Russian economy, presidential economic aide Andrei Belousov said on Thursday.

“In the first quarter, we saw a $12 billion inflow of foreign direct investment in the sector of non-financial organizations,” Belousov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“In the first quarter of last year, this investment totaled $21.3 billion, but if we exclude the effect of the TNK BP-Rosneft deal, the figure will also be about $12 billion,” Belousov said.

“This means that despite the ruble’s weakening that is hampering a foreign investment inflow, we are nevertheless retaining a confidence resource linked with foreign investment inflows,” Belousov said.

As for capital outflows, $28 billion worth of capital left Russia’s non-financial sector in the first quarter of 2014 compared with $28 billion in the same period of 2013 and $31 billion in 2012, the Russian president’s economic aide said.

“Therefore, there is a general trend of a slowdown in capital outflow from the non-financial sector,” Belousov said.

Capital outflows and FDI inflows are clear indicators of confidence, which is the basis for doing business, Belousov said.

The presidential economic aide also noted a record conversion of ruble savings into US dollars by Russian households in the first quarter of 2014.

“This is the result of a crisis of confidence among the population,” Belousov said.

“The crisis of confidence that has emerged is among the population. In the first quarter of this year, we saw a record amount – almost $20 billion – that households converted from rubles into US dollars. This is a real problem, which we have to resolve, and both the government and the Central Bank are dealing with this problem,” he said.