A. Burke SUmmers, 78, a retired business and financial consultant and former ambassador to Luxembourg, died Wednesday at his home in Rockville.

A world traveler and industrial consultant to many countries, Mr. Summers was President Eisenhower's ambassador to Luxembourg in 1960-61.

In 1959, Eisenhower had appointed Mr. Summers to the American Committee for World Refugees and to the U.S. delegation to the inauguration of President Tubman of Liberia and the ceremonies for the establishment of the Republic of Cameroon.

Born in Mattoon, Ill., Mr. Summers studied languages in Vienna, Austria, and foreign trade and currency at the University of Washington in Seattle. He graduated from the Wharton School of Commerce and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1920, he was secretary to the first U.S. Senate committee to visit the Philippines, China, Korea, Manchuria and Japan.

Mr. Summers lived in Philadelphia, where he helped start the Morris Plan bank system, until coming here in 1932, when he established General Credit, Inc., a Washington auto discount firm, of which he was president until 1956.

Between 1930 and 1948, he assisted in industrial and development studies of Latin America, South and East Africa, the Near East, Greece, Finland, France, Spain and Portugual, requested by teh countries involved.

In 1947-48, Mr. Summers aided Luxembourg in developing a program to attract medium industry.

In 1956, he carried out a study of heavy and medium industry, chemical production and transportation problems in 15 western European countries and Algeria. In 1959, he visited most of the countries of the Near East and Far East, making an economic and political survey for the Mutual Broadcasting System.

Active in civic and philanthropic work. Mr. Summers had headed the D.C. Red Cross blood program, was chairman of a fiscal committee to raise more than $7 million for the new George Washington University Hospital, and had been a director of the Boy Scouts.

An international big-game hunter and conservationist, he had gone on numerous expeditions in the Far East and Africa. In 1966, he and former Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans conducted a highly publicized scientific research expedition and safari in Chad.

Mr. Summers was a former chairman of the Washington Explorers Club. He belonged to the African Wild Life Leadership Foundation, the Ends of the Earth Club, the Circumnavigators Club, the Washington Safari Club and the Burning Tree Club.

His wife, Helen Salisbury Summers, a writer and world traveler who was active in Republican Party affairs, died last April.

He is survived by a brother, Paul D., of Washington; two sisters, Hope, of Beverly Hills, Calif., and Jean Smith, of Wilmette, Ill., a nephew, Paul D. Summers Jr., of Charlottesville, and a niece, Virginia Martin, of Wellesley Hills, Mass., whom Mr. Summers and his wife had reared.