Roy E. Foulke, 53, an economist who worked in the legislative and executive branches of government and then for private industry, died of a heart ailment Monday at his Washington home.

He served in the Army during World War II and then spent two years in the consular service in Berlin and Stuttgart.

Mr. Foulke came to Washington in 1949, and worked as an economist for the Army, the Bureau of the Budget, the Senate Small Business Committee, and the Civil Aeronautics Board.

In 1960, he went to work for private companies. He had been a staff economist for Hill and Knowlton, an international public relations firm, since 1973.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Foulke was a member of the Association of Former Senate Aides, the University Club, the International Club, and the National Press Club.

He is survived by two brothers, Jack and Edward, and a sister, Adelaide Foulke, all of Maroa, Ill.; another brother, John, of Aurora, S.D., and five other sisters, Joan Foulke, of Washington. Suzanne Judge, of Annapolis, Martha Roberts, of Erie, Pa., Mary Croson of Chapin, S.C., and Ruth Parker, of Key West, Fla.