CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. here said last week a pickup in sales in February indicates a modest strengthening of consumer confidence. “Through the holidays and immediately following the holidays, the consumer was more cautious,” said David B. Dillon, chairman and chief executive officer, in a conference call discussing year-end results. “But in February we saw a modest improvement, which I would attribute to some regaining of confidence by consumers in how they were approaching spending.” ...

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